Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night…

bob_dylan_-_bob_dylan    dylan-thomasimages

I was just going to write Happy New Year, or say something about the burden of 2016, and then decided to turn this blog in a more positive direction. (I have written quite enough  about my disenchantment with 2016.)

Instead, I want to think about all the GOOD things I’ve learned from a year that had me riding the wave. Yes, I was heartbroken, angry, and left numb at the roller coast ride that was the catastrophic 2016. But, then I thought about a few of the miraculous events that took place this year that helped me gain knowledge from the Universe. (If we cannot learn from what drags us down or causes us pain, then we aren’t taking advantage of growing as individuals.)

This year some incredible events actually did take place!!  I mean, who would have thought that 50 years after I first listened to Bob Dylan that he would have received the Nobel Prize? Now THAT is something extraordinary isn’t it? (I do have to take a moment out and thank my friend, Marla Schaefer for being the first person to introduce me to Dylan’s  album, which totally rocked my musical world!)

SOMETIMES greatness takes time to be appreciated and honored. Therefore, I learned patience and appreciation when Bobby “Zimmerman” won such a  prestigious award more than half a century after he recorded his first commercial album. So, THANK YOU 2016 for giving me a lesson in patience and understanding. I now realize that brilliant minds and poetry written or sung can indeed make a difference and change the world. My hope is that this achievement will encourage more funding for educational programs to promote writing, poetry and music in schools in the year that is to come.

Next, I am grateful for all I have learned watching and listening to Hillary Rodham Clinton. Her perseverance, her intellect, her patience and determination for decades, and her grace under fire, taught me that sometimes the smartest person in the room doesn’t always win or get the job. And although she and the women (and men) who supported her did not reach our ultimate goal, she DID CHANGE HISTORY!!! (That somehow has been underplayed and forgotten in this election). She WAS the first woman to ever run as a major candidate for The Presidency. And that is no small feat when you look at the role of women in American history. Hillary is a bit like the late, great John Glenn, who may never have been able to land on the moon, but he WAS the first to orbit the earth! And without him, others could not have gone as far or even dreamed of reaching their goals.

So while 2016 did not give me the first female President in my lifetime (thus far), it did give America a role model for all the girls growing up in this country. One is my own grand daughter who suddenly became aware that she could be more than a Disney Princess. She could make her own choices and become ANYTHING she wanted to be. (Even a princess if that was her choice. But SHE was in control of her destiny.) She could lead a nation if that was what she chose to do. And while it personally broke my heart that women did not go as far as I had hoped, we still went further than ever before. Because when I grew up, it would never have even been a dream in the 1950’s, that I could possibly have run for President of the United States. But now girls know that it IS a possibilty! And that’s really progress!

AND most of all, 2016 has taught me that NEVER can we as a people, become complacent with the world, or our country as it is, because at any time, our freedom and our equality can be taken away. And if we refuse to look at history and respect and believe in it, we will be forced to repeat the mistakes of the past. (We cannot go forward without honoring the past to give us guidance.)

Yes, I have learned all that. The fact that two people from my generation, a musical, poetic genius, and a female who has made children, women, education and healthcare a priority in her lifetime, changed the roles that had been previously defined for them is monumental! Artists can earn awards they never imagined, and women can soar to great heights and inspire others to dream beyond the boundaries that were put in their pathway.

And “We the people”, have learned never to be content with the status quo, because society is fickle and can change like the wind. Thus, my words to all of you for the upcoming year are this:

“Do not go gentle into that good night” (Dylan Thomas)

Be kind to others. Love your neighbor, no matter what their race, religion or gender may be. Strive to learn and reach your goals. Think about all the positive things you can do to make this a better world. Never ever give up!!!  And be grateful. Happy New Year. May 2017 bring you enlightenment, joy, and the ability to be kind and make a difference. Peace out… xoxo

14725711_10209218344309556_1055457030352860721_n

 

 

Advertisements

Author: Lesleykluchin

I am a teacher, writer, mother, and a grandmother. I have spent the last 36 years of my life as a teacher, enriching and motivating students to find the joy in learning and developing a love for the written word. As a newly retired educator I now volunteer my time writing curriculum for an after school spoken word poetry program. In my youth before teaching, I was an actress, played in an all girl's rock band in the late 60's, and protested for equality and peace while in college. I am still very involved in political issues that will help make this planet a better place in which to live, so that my precious grandchildren can stop and smell the roses and know that our world is a thing of beauty and the people in it can be filled with love, creative attributes, and artistic endeavors. I hope my efforts to fight for equality, freedom, truth and justice will survive in this brave new world of ours. We owe it to the children to continue to push forward no matter the hardships and challenges we might face with this new administration. Peace, love, and rock-n- roll!

6 thoughts on “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night…”

  1. Howdy Lesley!

    Thank you for reminding us what Clinton brings to the table and has gifted us all with. The number of girls and women who are following her example is an important legacy.

    Love your neighbor no matter his or her politics, too. One of my resolutions is to make more of an effort to bridge the divide.

    Huzzah!
    Jack

    1. Yes Jack, we certainly cannot forget what Hillary brought to the table. To do so would be a disservice to all the women who fought long and hard to get to the level she achieved. The women who fought and died for the right to vote, those who were battered and bruised, force fed, and locked up for demanding equality, and who never even were able to own property or cast a single vote. We must remember them too. HRC represented them every time she appeared in white, (which was the uniform of the Suffragettes), a shout out and reminder to all of the women who came before her. My life was not as complicated as that of Alice Paul or Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B Anthony etc. but, I couldn’t even get a credit card in my own name in the 1970’s as a single mother without the consent of my ex husband or my father. (Certainly nothing compared to the battles my foremothers waged, but just an example of how far we have come.) I was even turned down teaching jobs because I was divorced.(I wore the symbolic letter D on my chest as much as Hester Prynne wore the Scarlet letter A on her chest.) Hillary stood for us all, and although she did not win the Prescidency, she still won for women. She was able to run, and she DID win the popular vote so she did indeed speak for all us; male, female, Trans, white black, red, yellow etc. Young women, who have grown up with rights, didn’t understand the magnitude of her achievements and that was a damn shame. (Another reason history is so important.) But hopefully, the future of the path she carved out will continue and other girls and women will take that journey and succeed.

      And, I too must work on being less frustrated with those “neighbors” who do not see the simpleton that was elected to be our next President. I finally understand that not everyone is able to perceive what you or I might see. It reminds me of my humanities class in high school when I read Plato’s Republic. My first “aha” moment when Socrates spoke about there being a certain amount of souls that keep returning to become more highly evolved. That truly changed my life. I have to understand that not everyone on this earth is as evolved and therefore they still have lessons to learn before they can see the forrest from the trees. I have to remember that before I condemn them. Sigh. I think that is a lesson I must learn before I judge them. So, I too will do my best to bridge the divide . If I protest and preach peace and love and then spew anger at those who don’t get it, then I am not getting it either. Lessons, lessons, lessons, so much to learn. Have a Happy New Year and here’s a toast to hoping that we will see peace, less turmoil, in the coming year and that perhaps something good will rise like the phoenix out of this political mess we made. We can at least hope!!! Here’s to 2017!!!

      1. Howdy Lesley!

        It sounds like you had a similar experience as my mother did. She divorced my father in 1968. She couldn’t get a credit card or a loan without his signature. She had bosses tell her that they would not recommend her for promotion because she would be taking a job from a man who has a family to feed. One year I went without a winter coat because mine was stolen and we couldn’t afford another.

        Let’s hope that something good some time some where arises from the cinders!

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        1. So you totally get it. I got divorced in 1974 and the world was not a kind place for widows or divorcees. 1975 The United Nations declared it to be The Year of the woman ( I still hear Helen Reddy singing “I am woman hear me roar”) I thought 2016 would be declared it for real, but I guess not. I’m still hopeful. I do think positives will come from this eventually. I videoed myself after voting for Hillary and I was sobbing assuming it was a sure win, thinking of my mom and my grandmother and messaged it to my younger son (the one in the film industry) who Added it into a video diary for my grandkids to see some day. Recorded history. Who knows, maybe the next election….. 👍✌️

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s