(Content warning: vehicular injury, Trump)
On October 26th, my father was non-fatally run over by a car. He was biking home after work when a vehicle made a blind turn, running over both of his legs. Miraculously, he is expected to make a full recovery, including his abilities to walk.
I chose not share this story with social media then, because it was (and remains) deeply personal. However, in light of this recent US election and the distress so many of my followers now feel, I feel it serves a useful parable.
A good Samaritan stood by him the entire time, and may very well have saved his life. Not out of desire for compensation or some other form of greed, but due to human compassion and the desire to do the right thing.
As best as I understand events, the driver, having recognized that any action could cause further harm, kept the car halted until help could arrive. Had they attempted to flee or been scared into moving the car further, my father would have been killed. Instead, they remained calm in the face of potential tragedy, and only moved when my father, still alert and pinned by the hip under the front wheel of the car, directed them to do so.
Had anyone in this situation given into anxiety or fear, my father would not be here with us today. And for that, I am incredibly grateful.
Since the incident, my family and I have been closer than ever. We recognized that we had narrowly headed off disaster, and that in our personal darkest time, we all came together for each other. We fought the darkness in our world through calm vigilance, compassionate and decisive action, and through reminding each and every one of us how much we love them.
A scant two weeks later, Donald Trump was named President-Elect of the United States. My entire immediate family voted Hillary, myself included, staving off the awkward division many families now feel for those who voted for the hateful rhetoric of his political platform. Many of my friends are not as lucky.
I feel the same sense of distress from two weeks ago echoed by my friends and family now. But instead of fighting for a single life, we now fight for the unity and well-being of us all.
I do not know how things will play out. But what I do know is this: seeing my friends come together to protect their own has been one of my most heartening experiences. Seeing the people I care about stand up for love instead of hate, and for the right for themselves and loved ones to exist, fills me with hope.
It is this profound sense of unity, compassion, introspection, and determination, that brings us closer together in our darkest of times. It is these human characteristics that keep us together and allow us to deny the darkness within ourselves.
Let this be a year of almost-tragedy, one in which we stood up against the darkness of hatred, division, and oppression, and won. Let this be another historic time, in the long litany of historic times, in which we vehemently stood up to those that would see us destroyed for their own comforts and fears.
And, most important of all, let this be a year in which we come together for those that need us the most.