Moved By the Weight of Their Misfortunes

By New John ~

It was an ordinary Saturday morning, sipping freshly made coffee and watching early local news. Every news source was focused on the phenomenon of federal government directives separating children from their parents, dividing families to uncertain outcomes. Public outcry and indignation seemed to be sweeping the nation.

Citizen outrage coalesced, seemingly overnight, into rallies organized in cities across the country, including Denver. I finished my coffee and said to Nancy, “I think I’ll drive downtown and join the rally”.

She spilled her coffee responding, “ You will what”? Now, I’m an old guy that mostly ignores the news and doesn’t often hold serious opinions about our societal issues. I don’t even know why I said that!

The drive on 6th Avenue into downtown Denver was easy on a Saturday morning. I took my time guessing how close to Civic Center Park I could get and still find an available parking meter. I got lucky. A meter at 11th and Broadway made it a reasonable distance to manage with my walker.

Nice morning for a short walk. As I neared the Greek Amphitheater, citizens from every direction converged like tributaries eager to become a powerful slow moving river. Courteous volunteers in yellow vests directed me to a cordoned off area reserved for the convenience of those less mobil.

I don’t know what this sea of humanity, shoulder to shoulder, may have looked like to those viewing from the comfort of their living room. I realized they can’t know the feeling of what is taking place in the real world.

Ordinary human beings, gathered together with concerns for other ordinary human beings simply motivated by the weight of their misfortunes.

Several observations moved me.

It was crowded, it was hot and the rally’s intention is controversial. Yet I did not see one discourtesy or ill-advised behavior. Signs expressing mostly sincere, responsible concerns. And surprisingly I did not notice a police presence anywhere. When we demonstrate civility, it’s a demonstration of who we are!

I did get back to my car with what energy I had remaining, tired, but encouraged. If only the leadership we rely upon could take note?