Rise Up

We forget, all the time, what we’re capable of.

How often, how many times a day, do we tell ourselves won’t, can’t, doesn’t? How many times do we say inevitable, impossible, never?

And then a girl stands in front of the whole world and she shakes their windows and she rattles their walls.

Do you know what it takes to hold a stage, to hold a crowd in your hands, for even one minute? To have them breathing with you, every indrawn breath yours to control? There are veterans of Broadway who can’t do that, not on nights when they’re visited by God himself.

I get the cynicism. I get the fear. I get the worry that somebody else will succeed where we’ve failed and I get the shame that drives us to push that away and I don’t care about any of it anymore, I reject it wholeheartedly, I shaven’t it, you can see what I see. Something happened there and when the world brings you a moment like that you thank God you were alive to witness it and you put your feet flat on the ground and you stand up.

We have been telling these children stories, telling ourselves stories, all our lives about those who rise above, about becoming heroes, about fighting back, and we’re still so astonished, almost offended, when someone listens. You told me I could be anything, so I became, and you don’t believe? How dare we?

We have eight months, and then the rest of our lives. Listen to that silence, and I don’t want to know you if you don’t hear the roar.

A.

3 thoughts on “Rise Up

  1. Michael D. Storey says:

    Ms Hantschel is a talented writer who says important things

    Liked by 1 person

  2. celcus says:

    Come mothers and fathers
    Throughout the land
    And don’t criticize
    What you can’t understand
    Your sons and your daughters
    Are beyond your command
    Your old road is
    Rapidly agin’.
    Please get out of the new one
    If you can’t lend your hand

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Spocko says:

    I was heartened by the March today. This is what a woman who studies activism is a “signaling event.” that shows we are serious about this.
    I am not as cynical as others since I know that you can make a change. I also know that the forces against change are determined, assholes and willing to lie, cheat, steal, threaten and bribe their way to what they want.

    How do we help the students keep succeeding. By giving them the kind of leverage that the NRA has had for years. Passion. On a single issue. Leverage, enough to vote out NRA stooges. Courage, to call out the assholes who intimidate with their armed protests and death threats.

    Liked by 1 person

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