Defying Fear in Traumatic Times

Is the nightmare finally over?

Even in the midst of this splendid dawn, even as we awake with relief from the dark fever of a seemingly endless night and celebrate, along with multiple dancing citizens, that the republic is not beyond redemption, we must remember that other nightmares await us.

If it were only a matter of the damage Trump will likely inflict before he surrenders the Presidency. Or his legacy of a worsening pandemic, a degraded environment, a wounded democracy, a land racked by violence, racial injustice and hatred of immigrants.

The persisting nightmare is that, ignoring the culture of corruption in Trump’s White House, his callousness and serial mendacity, over seventy million estranged fellow Americans almost reelected him, a man whose own niece, psychologist Mary Trump, calls a “sociopath.” And one who embodies a lingering malignancy in America’s DNA.

To convince enough of them to journey with us to a more luminous future is the major challenge ahead. For this, we desperately need radical change and a shift in consciousness, to look together into the mirror of our national identity and recognize its most twisted manifestations, above all the myth of exceptionalism.

In order to truly awaken and heal we must continue to unleash the courage, energy, joy and, yes, compassion with which rebellious millions managed to defy fear and keep hope alive in these traumatic times.

This first appeared on CNN.