In these uncertain times, respond with courage



Dyala Kasim

Last week, one of my professors asked our entire class a question that struck me to the core because in those nine words, she completely captured and expressed everything that I had been feeling up until that point: “How do we live in a time of uncertainty?” 

How do we continue to move forward when we are unsure what lies ahead, what the next day will bring? How do we keep going today when we don’t know what our world will look like tomorrow morning?

Regardless of your political affiliation, how you feel about the state of our country at the moment, whether you wake up feeling safe and secure in the morning or not, you cannot deny that we are living in uncertain times. This is a point in our history when we simply do not know what’s coming or how hard it will hit us. And so we must continue to ask one another this question, in order to help, to heal, and above all, to reassure each another that we are not alone in these uncertain times.

Here is my answer: we cannot face uncertainty with fear. To live in fear is to live in a world where we fall down and stay down. To live in fear is to constantly be looking over your shoulder, constantly apologizing, constantly proving that you’ll continue to keep your head down and your eyes lowered. To live in fear is not a life at all—rather, it is to throw away this chance to make a stand, to make a difference in this era of unrest.

Here’s my answer: we cannot face uncertainty with denial. To look at this country, to look at our world itself and to say that nothing is wrong, that everything is fine and will continue to be fine is to disregard the reality in which we’re all living. When people are being barred from entering this country, a nation built on immigration, on acceptance and “liberty and justice for all,” when the education department in this country looks like it needs one more sneeze to topple over and fall into ruin, when we just do not know what will come out of Washington D.C. next, we need to uncertainty straight in the face and acknowledge it, rather than turn a blind eye to it. 

Here’s my answer: we cannot face uncertainty with hate. There is just too much hate sown into our society right now. Too much hate being spewed out of the mouths of those who should be running our country with everyone in mind. Too much hate, and it is suffocating all of us, toxic to all of us, each and every person living in this nation. If one group of people trips in our society, we all fall down. 

So take the time and really look at and think about all of this. Think about where you stand in our country and in our world. Think about the power you have to make a difference, whether it is big or small, in this rocky time. But above all, think about the kind of person you want to be, right here and right now.

And so, united together, we will look uncertainty in the eye and respond with courage.