Broken Places

Helen Noakes

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“I’ll venture to say that the attack on America by its current leaders is breaking open the carefully tended falsehoods which our nation has so fondly nurtured. And while our country has had social upheavals before, this is, perhaps, the first time that we are being forced to admit that so many hard-fought battles by courageous men and women in our history may have been won, but the war on bigotry, racism, and misogyny has not.”—Helen Noakes

Waking Point

By Helen Noakes

Speaking up; standing strong.

Speaking up; standing strong.

Helen Noakes

SAN FRANCISCO California—(Weekly Hubris)—February 2018—It’s no revelation to say that the United States is in the midst of an immense crisis. Our Constitution, our laws of proper conduct, and our integrity are under siege, leading many of us to reconsider our self-image as a largely decent nation with a conscience. In short, our idealized view of ourselves has shattered, forcing us to take a close and unpleasant look at what lies beneath the mask we’ve been happy to wear and advertise for years.

I confess that I am appalled at the acceptance and approval of grossly predatory and bigoted behavior by our nation’s leaders which some in our country exhibit. And, I was frightened by it.

I was.

After the initial shock of seeing decidedly dangerous and unqualified individuals assume the helm of power, I stopped to reassess. A quote from Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms came to mind: “The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”

I’ll venture to say that the attack on America by its current leaders is breaking open the carefully tended falsehoods which our nation has so fondly nurtured. And while our country has had social upheavals before, this is, perhaps, the first time that we are being forced to admit that so many hard-fought battles by courageous men and women in our history may have been won, but the war on bigotry, racism, and misogyny has not.

Like a patient being informed of a pernicious disease, we are allowed to be afraid, to grieve, to rage. But until and unless we resolve to undergo treatment, we have no hope of recovery.

There is a reason for this dark passage in America. It is meant to show us the cancer which eats away at us. It is up to us to take steps to heal the broken places.

Healing takes time, commitment, collaboration, and fierce focus, but it is possible. And while I’m heartened to see earnest men and women of all races, creeds, and generations, working towards that end, I’m hoping that their diverse organizations will unite in a combined strategy to combat our country’s serious, deadly disease.

Helen Noakes

About Helen Noakes

Helen Noakes is a playwright, novelist, writer, art historian, linguist, and Traditional Reiki Master, who was brought up in and derives richness from several of the world's great traditions and philosophies. She believes that writing should engage and entertain, but also inform and inspire. She also believes that because the human race expresses itself in words, it is words, in the end, that will show us how very similar we are and how foolish it is to think otherwise.
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5 Responses to Broken Places

  1. Will says:

    Helen, I think I may still have a glimmer of the hope your call to arms reflects. Hope is rare enough and so difficult to hold on to in such a world as this. Thank you.

  2. Theo says:

    Nice … very nice. A season of hope? Hope so.

  3. Jean says:

    Helen, there is no point to life without hope, so thank you for reminding us to see what can be found to be encouraging. For those of us with grandchildren, it is necessary to believe that things will improve. Nice.

  4. Sharon Gine' says:

    Thank you for this. Gives up all hope. This is not my country.

  5. Alex Billinis says:

    Perhaps the silver lining to the current grey is that we are confronted with these ugly truths.

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