iPhone sent this to me today. To remind me of what truly makes me happy.
I saw a little tree growing up through the crack in a sidewalk.
Just a plant, three leaves, a barely brown-grey-green twig of a stem.
But, it was trying.
That little plant had big dreams.
Dreams of being a mighty Oak, Maple, Magnolia, or Birch.
Limbs strong and sturdy, yet flexible enough to withstand the storms of Summer, lightning flashing bright.
And buttressed against a massive trunk to hold the snows of Winter, wet and white.
I was doubtful. But that little tree had hopes.
I saw a Cedar growing on top of an enormous boulder once. That sentinel had forced her way up through the gigantic stone, split it apart. Roots snaking down to the nourishment of the soils around the stone, fighting the immovable slab.
The wet Winters watered that little sapling, the Carolina Summer sun fed it, and way up there on that pile of rocks it was safe from the forest foragers, twitching noses, and nibbling mouths.
Proud and defiant, that Cedar had won her game of King of the Hill.
No one ever told that little Cedar ‘No.’ no one ever laughed at its temerity, said ‘it’s impossible, you can’t grow there.’ No one ever stepped on it, called it names, or put it down.
That little plant in the crack in the sidewalk, its road will be tougher. And I have my doubts.
People will be mean to that little plant. They’ll walk all over it, stomp it, kick it, and cut it down. They’ll throw dirt and trash on it, and worse, they’ll laugh at that little tree.
They’ll say, ‘you can’t grow here. It’s impossible.’ They’ll say, ‘you’ll never make it, you’re too small.’ They’ll call it foolish, stupid, they’ll say ‘you should give up,’ and ‘why even try?’
But that little tree still has big dreams.
I have been betrayed by the social contract. The myth that if you work hard, and act responsibly you can get ahead is a total lie. I have given 16 years of my life to my work. And I have nothing. I am no better off today than I was the day I set out on this journey. There is no American Dream for me, there never was. There was only survival. And I’ve failed. This is no longer a land of opportunity.
Do this one thing, please.
Think back to that moment in the voting booth, looking down at your ballot. Remember it. Crystallize it in your mind. Think hard about that moment. So that it is ingrained in your memory. So that when this goes bad, and it will, when this goes horribly off the tracks, when people die in some senseless war, when economic calamity befalls us, when foolish and failing policies begin to crumble the pillars of this once great nation, you can remember how it began.
I want you to be able to recall with exacting precision the moment you betrayed your nation, and became complicit in its downfall.
This is not hyperbole. The man is a tyrant. A sociopathic demagogue. He is dangerous, and you gave him the power to destroy us all.