There must be hope. Hate can not win.
I thought that today would be a good day to share this anecdote.
Years ago, my grandfather (Arthur Greenblatt) was telling me some stories about his life. He had many adventures throughout his life. His stories described working in an Alaskan gold mine, strolling the Charles River while studying at MIT, and being a young buck in Brooklyn toiling over molten vats of metal in his family's galvanizing plant. Of all of his adventures, one of his experiences struck a great deal of fear in him, a fear that he never forgot. It happened during a trip to Germany while he was in the merchant marines.
It was no secret that there were stirrings about the rise of a particular leader and his armies. And it was no secret, what they stood for.
While there in Germany, during some off time he roamed about a city in his uniform, smoking cigarettes and looking in shop windows.
He heard a commotion about and peered down the street. While keeping his distance he ducked into a darkened doorway. He put out his cigarette and watched while an army of jackbooted soldiers marched down the lane.
He knew even then, that he needed to keep his name badge hidden on that day. A Jew named Greenblatt - even in Germany would not have been welcome on that day by those in the brown suits.
If there is one thing that I am thankful for on this day... so many years later, it is that my grandfather is not here to see what is happening in our country. He is not here to see the rising of anti-Semitism, the dark fear of "the other", the us and them, the demonizing of the press, the war on women (and as the brother of a gay man...) the war on LBGTQ rights.
I miss him desperately because I would love to call him and ask him what to do? How to fight this? But I am glad that he is somewhere else, at peace? Or living another life inside - i hope - someone just as wonderful as he was the first time around.
Mostly I wish very much that no one ever needs to feel they have to hide in a darkened doorway because they were born to this world something that somebody else fears, hates or doesn't understand.
We are living in troubled times. It's hard to stay positive. There are others out there who also feel this fear. Band together. Hug each other. Look into each others eyes and offer a glimmer of hope.
There is hope. Hate can not win.