I’m writing this on the day the 45th President of the United States is being inaugurated. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little broken. “Disappointed” and “anxious” are words I’ve heard over and over these last couple of months, packed with more raw feeling than they had a year ago. I can relate.
I’m a child of a time when racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia were in retreat. When being born in one place, growing up in another, and working, playing and raising a family in a few more was a badge of honour. When leaders were expected to show wisdom, grace and decency. Over the last year there have been days I woke up in what felt like a different world—a more harsh and fragile one where, as fault lines opened up between us, important things like truth, freedom and equality crumbled into the cracks.
Of course, we’re all still on this same little planet where we’ve always been. And when its seams start to fray we mustn’t just give up on it. We need to get fixing. So that’s what this latest quarterly issue of Thoughtful is all about—mending, repairing and improving things that are broken, forgotten or neglected.
A talented group of writers, photographers, designers, illustrators and other friends came together to make this issue possible. I’m in awe of their creativity and generosity, qualities we’re all going to need in spades this year.
By helping others and asking for help, they’ve learned that strengthening the bonds of our relationships is the best way to fix what’s broken. Through patching things and places up, they’ve found beauty in the scars of experience. They’ve even found humour in mending themselves. Some are starting small. You can take inspiration from them, and from the many others who have made fixing their mission. You may want to start by fixing your mood—this will help.
When we fix the things that are broken we make them, and ourselves, stronger. That unceasing commitment to making things better, especially when they threaten to fall apart, underpins the long and steady march of progress. The torch has been passed to us. I hope you’ll find the encouragement here to help you (and others, if you’ll help spread the word) take it forward.
Daianna Karaian, January 2017