Each generation comes to reject, in one form or another, the conventional rules for getting along in the world as defined by their forebears. America last experienced this rejection in the 1960s.
Having lived during that time, I can tell you the process is profoundly unsettling, scary, invigorating and yet cleansing. Sometimes the upheaval is so powerful that it unleashes a torrent of new ideas that engulf an entire society, a deluge that creates swirling eddies and cuts new channels into our ossified mindset about the definition of what it means to be “normal.” Today, we are again living in such a time.
Half a century ago, Bob Dylan gave us the profound lyrics of his wonderful song “The Times, They Are A Changin’.” This powerful anthem was a challenge to the “old guard” – the traditional institutions of power in America. Its lyrics remain as fresh and relevant today as they were when he first wrote and sung them.
Recently, I’ve been inspired by the powerful forces unleashed by the pent-up anger channeled by disenfranchised groups, especially women. These individuals have forged their pain into a sword of strength that they’re wielding to demand justice from the society and institutions that have failed them.
We’ve watched the birth of the #metoo and #timesup movements, the millions of women marching in Washington and in cities across our country sending a message of the need for change.
It’s a message that says physical and sexual violence against women will no longer be tolerated.
It’s a message that says that ALL children should be free to attend safe, engaging, schools staffed by teachers empowered to help them learn, excel, belong and aspire to their own unique vision of the American dream.
It’s about historic numbers of women coming out to run for office, confident in the knowledge that their positions will resonate with an informed electorate because they’re on the right side of history.
It’s about the paradox of the unbroken Parkland, Florida, students who, when faced with an unthinkable tragedy, discovered the resilience to articulate an eloquent demand for leaders to act to safeguard our nation’s most vital assets – our children.
From the time I was a little girl until today, music has served to remind me that I am strong, I am capable, and I can make a difference and so can you.
Yes, the times, they are a changing. And each of us is called to evaluate our positions and take a stand on behalf of the ideas that move us and the people we most care about.
© Tyra Manning 2018