“Tis the season for holiday get-togethers. This year feels different to me.

In the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to see and break bread with a lot of folks. There seems to be something that most of these people have in common, although I have a wide array of friends, some that are almost as liberal as I am to others who are fairly conservative.

In most of the conversations I hear, people are feeling hopeless and helpless. They are becoming more wary of others and more isolated. Even those who don’t say exactly that, speak of their husbands who are now afraid to hug their female friends or others they know who are scared to share their views or concerns. People are mistrustful of the press and of each other.

I, too, had lost the inspiration to write and share what I think after a couple of disturbing 4am messages from people who disagreed with a news story I shared or a quote I posted.

Overall, I see more division and less communication, more fear and despair and less hope and anticipation, more anxiety and less calm. And this is during holiday gatherings and friendly lunches!

Of all of the threats I can see and unfortunately I could begin a long list for you here, this feeling of dismay and discouragement I get from the people I come in contact with scares me the most.

Alice Walker said, “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” Our country was founded on the ideal that we all have equal power. Since the conception of our country that hasn’t actually been our reality.

From the beginning of our free land, people with darker skin tones, whether slaves or native Americans, were not treated equally. Women have never been treated equally, and women with less than lily white skin have definitely suffered hardship. I have always hoped that we were moving forward to fix those issues, so that everyone would feel equal.

Now I see more divisions instead of less. Not only by gender and race, but now we also separate by sexual orientation, religion, party affiliation, and the biggie- WEALTH.

People are putting political party ahead of morals and even ahead of what’s good for our country. When I see the publishing of the constitution touted as unpatriotic and the quoting of Jesus as anti- Christian, I feel that the world has turned upside down and something is about to permanently break.

We face so many problems and the urge to throw up our hands and give up is strong. But thinking we have no power, no hope, is what will ultimately do us in as a nation. We have to stand up for what we know deep down is right, we have to be willing to know what the truth is by doing research instead of just accepting what someone says over and over.

Telling a lie over and over loudly does not make it true. If you can see the sky is blue (well gray today) don’t believe it when some loud mouth tells you it is green, even if you think they have more power than you. If someone does something wrong and you know it is wrong, call them out. And when given the opportunity to protest, discuss or VOTE, just do it.

We are at a tipping point and most of the directions I see us going scare the hell out of me. Only clear thinking, fair minded people who know how to research the truth, resist the temptation to label “others” and hold to our command to love one another and treat each other as neighbors can fix things. For the most part those aren’t the people in control of government or the money, so it is up to all of us to do something.


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Marietta is a graduate of the University of Montevallo with a BFA in musical theater. She has been performing for over 50 years on the stage and continues to perform, direct and teach. Marietta is married to Tim, has a son named Jon, and a cat named Penny.