Last night I watched the HBO documentary on the relationship between Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds and her daughter Carrie Fisher, best known for her role as Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” saga. The film, “Bright Lights,” is a wonderful trip through Hollywood and sort of a “Grey Gardens Goes Hollywood.” The living conditions, like in “Grey Gardens,” are unique but it’s the conditions of both the main characters and those they touch that brings you to the point where you’re asking yourself, "What world are these delightful people living in?"
There is one particular scene where a character is introduced that might be a metaphor for our times. The woman seems to be in a fragile state and needs some reassurance. To constantly remind her that she’s fine, she carries a live chicken in her arms. Her husband tells the camera it’s her “emotional-wellness chicken.”
Well, it seems that many in today’s America are worried about our delicate democracy and need reassurance. You can either go out to a farm somewhere and get your own “emotional-wellness chicken” or you can accept the world we have, stand up and be counted and work to change it.
Personally, I’m old enough to have seen two previous presidents cause me this same nervous feeling as they moved into the White House and made drastic changes. They were Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. Of those, Reagan attempted to cause the most drastic damage to our community. The result was that we organized and fought back. In the end, we became stronger as a community and that experience helped build the networks we have today.
So when there are community organizers that call for action — and that time will come — don’t pick up an emotional-wellness chicken. Answer the call.