May we come together after so many bitter words and such division.
May our minds open to the experience and points of view of those who are not just like ourselves.
May we heal from sexism, racism, bigotry, and misunderstandings of all kinds.
May we have imagination enough to transform hate.
May we practice compassion, empathy, patience.
May we work together to steward the planet, the water, our benevolent institutions, our children, our future.
May we strengthen and expand a political process that excludes too many of us.
May the arc of the universe bend toward justice.
May kindness prevail. And decency.
May neighborliness take root—let’s get to know one another. Let’s find ways of living together without walls.
May we come to understand that we are multitudes, and that is a good thing.
May we nourish the seeds of peace in our interactions with one another, because how we speak to, and treat one another matters.
May we find our place, and do the real work that needs doing, and trust that we each have a role to play in creating a healthy, inclusive, resilient, beautiful society.
May hearts open, open, open, open, open, open, open, open, open wider than before.
Our words matter. What we think about matters. How we address the future is up to each of us—and our myriad, delicate, expanding imaginations.
If you have a prayer or blessing or poem for this moment, please share below…
EDITOR’S NOTE: This invocation was first posted in November 2016. We uplift it at the start of 2021 as we feel the words remain resonant and relevant today.
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may true love overcome hate and injustice.
Love and hope are infinitely more powerful
than hate and fury.
Heda Margolius Kovaly
Like forces of nature, like wind
or gravity, emotions, too,
have power. Unseen, they well up in us,
as hate must have swollen in those
who defiled the Capitol or urged its destruction.
Like that cancerous fury, love and hope
have strength. They cause feet
to move, arms to reach out, minds to think.
Ideas power a different sort of might:
with smiles offered, hands extended in friendship
or aid, like caressing breezes, like
the comforting stability of gravity. Such support
beams through the wreckage, letting love and hope
surge instead of disease and madness.
Wiping away tears, I, too, take action,
writing words to foster what humankind
has already imagined into being:
a democracy growing with renewed life.
January 5th 2021.
The words do indeed remain relevant today. May America’s collective heart remain “open, open, open, open, open, open, open, open, open” during what I suspect may be a tumultuous period until the political transition is completed – and beyond.
I love this, Holly. Thank you so much for posting. You speak the hearts of many who watched the election in dismay. I use a writing activity similar to this with students of all ages, and another word choice I’ve suggested is to begin each statement with “Let.” I remember one occasion when a student got sent to the office, and in his absence we wrote a “Poem for Joshua,” offering him our wishes for him. When he returned and heard us read it to him….I think that may have been a life-changing moment.
Thanks for reading, friends. The words of this prayer poured out of me immediately after voting. It was my simple hope for a better future. There is much work to do, and I’ll be playing my part as an activist and educator and parent to a little girl, but I think it’s also powerful to channel our imaginations into words on the page. I’d be interested if any readers of this blog would offer a different set of statements, beginning with the phrase “May we, ” or any other that comes to mind.
May we be more peaceful to each other, and may there be no more war.
Thank you for this inspiration.
Thank you so much for this very touching, heart opening and inspiring poem. May your heartfelt prayers go around the world and open doors to all our hearts.
Wise and moving words. Thank you for this poem, Holly.