Perspective shift: a weekend with history

At the Martin Luther King, Jr memorial in Washington, DC

A couple of months ago I went to Washington, D.C. with my husband. It was his birthday and we spent the weekend eating too much, drinking over-priced cocktails and walking around the city.

I’m Canadian but I have lived in the US for the last twenty years and I now have my American citizenship as well. I love this country, and I see the problems. And the problems have been overwhelming me lately. The divisiveness, the name-calling, the hatred and bigotry. I get deflated and anxious. I get sad and frustrated. I talk about moving back to Canada.

But while in D.C. we went to monuments and memorials: Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Roosevelt, WW II, Vietnam – and something occurred to me:

As a country, we have been through some serious shit.

Are things bad now?


Have they been worse before?


That doesn’t negate what is happening right now, but what it does mean is that we can do this. We were made to deal with hard things. We are strong and resilient. We were made to overcome and heal and work together to become better. This is true whether we’re talking about the political climate or global terrorism or our own personal struggles with anxiety or depression.

It’s easy to throw up our hands and assume that it’s all just going to hell. But apathy is the easy way out. We might go through hell — but we’re sure as hell going to keep walking until we get somewhere better.

We’re all in this together, so let’s be radically kind and endlessly courageous.

with love,


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18 Replies to “Perspective shift: a weekend with history”

  1. you really think things would be better in Canada? A$$holes are everywhere deary, there’s no escaping them.

    1. Of course there are assholes everywhere, but politically, I love our Prime Minister and feel like a lot of the Canadian policies better reflect my beliefs. So in some ways I think it would be better because culturally, that’s my home.

      1. but what you said was ” The divisiveness, the name-calling, the hatred and bigotry.”
        so what does that have to do with your Prime MInister and Canadian policies?

        Not trying to troll an argument, i’m honestly interested in what your views are about that.

      2. What’s currently going on in politics here is not going on in politics there. Many “hot button” issues here that are causing division are just the way of life in Canada. (Or at least, they were/are accepted as the norm in my community. Maybe we’re all just too polite to name call!)

  2. This is great, Lisa. The things our grandparents went through were especially tough with WW2. Even my parents generation suffered through the IRA terrorism and now our generation face our own challenges. The human spirit is very resilient and enduring. It is good to be reminded of this fact!

  3. “We were made to deal with hard things. We are strong and resilient. ” Well said. This is not the election or the politics ‘of my childhood’ (my parents used to dress us up to campaign for people) and it is anxiety making and sometimes discouraging as well as divisive. I’ve had to ‘turn off’ friends in my social media newsfeeds until after November 8th mostly to avoid the negativity on all sides. It will be nice to “see” them again after that.

  4. It’s not bad, per se. I see it like America is suffering a fever (at the end of which is healing) or adolescence (at the end of which is a new shiny life form) or even is giving birth (at the end of which is a different sort of shiny new life form). I can recall many times as an individual suffering all kinds of pain and difficulty just to discover something wonderful at the end.

  5. Lisa.

    It has been a long, hard, sad year… This was needed and appreciated today. Thank you for reminding me that this too will pass and that we all can persevere and enjoy better times.


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