Change always inspires multiple emotions: excitement, fear, or a combination of the two.
With COVID-19, we have been wanting things to change, but we’ve also been afraid that if they do, they’ll become worse. Change is a risk – you can either win or lose.
One of the most important changes that has happened over the past two weeks was the inauguration of President Joseph R. Biden. On Jan. 20, millions of people tuned in to their televisions or live streams to watch the Inauguration.
If you’re like me, you watched with bated breath, waiting for something bad to happen. Especially in light of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, every pause in the program felt like an eternity.
Regardless of what political ideology you hold, the Inauguration was a symbol of what the United States was meant to be. Amanda Gorman, the nation’s first ever youth poet laureate, a 22-year old woman of color, spoke in a program that included Oklahoma-born country singer Garth Brooks, singing “Amazing Grace.”
Gorman’s words were powerful: “Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed / a nation that isn’t broken / but simply unfinished / We the successors of a country and a time / Where a skinny Black girl / descended from slaves and raised by a single mother / can dream of becoming president / only to find herself reciting for one.” America isn’t perfect, and it won’t be – but we can still grow together, standing side by side.
Brooks sang the words originally written by John Newton, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound / That saved a wretch like me / I once was lost, but now am found / Was blind, but now I see.” Though those words are deeply religious, I hope that everyone can take from them that we have been given the grace to turn from our past and find ourselves in a new future.
This is where our new day begins. We can unite, despite our differences, and rise from the horrors of the past.
Together is where we are strongest. Together is where we capture the true spirit of America.