washington state capitol facade reflecting in pond under white sky

January Epiphanies

“A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

January

Over the years, January has been a difficult month for me.

At first, it was the low that I would reach after the euphoria of the holiday season. Then, later, it was the seasonal flu. More recently, we know that Covid aggravated infectiousness and the results have been far more devastating in January.

January 6th, 2021

However, this year in 2022, January 6th has also been weighing on me a lot. The anniversary of the insurrection and re-living the terrible events of that day last year has been almost too much to bear.

For me, the images of January 6th, 2021 and of all the crowds invading the Capitol building are significant. They serve as an important reminder of what was really attacked in 2021.

Democracy, a building of the people, the people who worked hard to serve democracy, a symbol and place of peaceful and civilized debate, were all brutally attacked, defiled and desecrated. We had lost our innocence.

January 6th Consequences

I have been waiting to see the consequences of the ‘rebellion’ of 2021. Those who claimed freedom was their motivation, never counted on the rule of law to be a very real result of their actions.

In the aftermath, there have been the cries of those who claimed that they did not know that they were doing such a bad thing. Then in the same breath, these same perpetrators would go to the media to crow about the slaps on the wrists they received, thus proving that lying is a hallmark of their cause.

In turn, there have been those who refuse to listen to facts and endorsed the violence in the Capitol. They prefer to believe the words of an egotistical and vain ‘leader’, losing their ability to think. I wonder if they realize that they have been abandoned, cast aside. They are of worth only while they can be used and exploited. They seem to have placed loyalty at the feet of shallowness, greed and abusiveness.

Democracy

However, I would like to believe that there are an equal number of followers who didn’t realize how selfish and self-centered the cause was, as the assault on the Capitol didn’t truly exhibit the support of democracy and actually assaulted the very symbol of what they hold dear.

Ultimately, 2022 should be the year for one to change one’s path and not live a life of sound and fury.

January and Epiphanies

January 6th is also the day of Epiphany in the Western Christian calendar. While theologians are way more qualified to address the religious significance of that day, I have this to say about the concept of Epiphany.

The layperson’s definition of epiphany is “a moment in which you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way” or “a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epiphany

My hope is that all of these followers reach an epiphany regarding the actions of that day. If they do not harbor hate and violence in their hearts, that they realize that the ends do not always justify the means. That real strong leadership involves restraint, compassion and humility. That their leaders should always champion democracies over autocracies or dictatorships.

Conclusion

In fact, it would be ideal if January 6th, the date of insurrection in 2021, becomes the anniversary of real epiphanies in the Januaries of years to come.

That we acknowledge on that day every year this fact. That democracy is one of the few and precious ways that we all get to exercise our freedoms to vote and to choose our governments.

A day when we remind ourselves, of how precious democracy really is, in the world.

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