I remember years ago, right after my youngest was diagnosed with cancer. Before we knew anything was wrong, I was stressing about how to redo my kitchen. After diagnosis, I looked back on that with both undesired perspective and a deep wistfulness. God, how I longed for the normalcy of stressing over something so shallow. I ached for normal.
The thing about that kind of normal? It's a temporary, privileged state that not everyone gets. A happy normal means that you have enough money in the bank to pay your bills. And you're not worried about your child playing outside. You feel safe waving at police officers. You go to Walmart and don't have a store clerk following you up and down the aisles. No one in your family is in the hospital. You're not concerned that war is imminent or that maybe you just might have an un-elected Fascist running the country.
You leave normal, and for a time, you long for what you used to have. And you expect to get back to it.
But then that day happens when you realize you're never getting back to that old innocent time. And instead, this is the "new normal." And you need to change things so that living in this new normal becomes sustainable. And things that used to be special events -- like calling your congressperson or attending a rally -- become regular occurrences, just a part of your weekly routine.
And when that happens, you start learning tricks so that you can live in the new normal more effectively. You're not radical ... this is just the new normal. Showing up at politicians' town halls, questioning them publicly about how they're not living up to the trust your community put in them. Being, frankly, a pain in their collective ass. Radical? Nope. Just a parent, an executive, a worker, a suburban pastor who would rather be reading "100 Ways to Enhance Your Annual Canvass Drive."
American politicians, I suggest you don't wait. FIX THIS. See, we're making lots of friends with actual radicals. They're teaching us things, and asking for our help, too. We're slowly learning about what we've been asleep to, back when things were Normal.
And once this becomes our new normal, we're not going back to just cross stitch.