So it’s December 24th, Christmas Eve, and also, the first day of Hanukkah.
I admit that when Melanie invited me to guest blog for this series, I was a bit amiss as to what to write exactly. I kinda fell off the blogging bandwagon this year due to some… personal difficulties?
Seems the nature of 2016, but this year has really been a kick in the pants. Yet here we are, celebrating holidays and closing in on the final pages of this year. And I think that speaks to the American culture of resilience.
Maybe my military background has skewed my perception a bit, but I genuinely think that resilience is firmly bedded in our culture (if you’re not American, apologies). We’ve struggled with war after war, economic crash after economic crash, horrible leadership after horrible leadership. Point is that even when we fumble, we don’t stay down. We look at the tools and talents given to us and use them to pick ourselves back up.
There’s a line in the Broadway musical HAMILTON that exemplifies this ideal.
“I’m just like my country. I’m young, scrappy, and hungry.”
When I refer to this line, scrappy is ingenuity, and hungry is ambition. We’re in a constant state of evolution, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the constant pursuit of “The American Dream,” the idea that anyone can achieve anything provided they’re willing to work for it. And sure, our country’s climate is a tad depressing in terms of chasing that dream, but Americans aren’t exactly great at defeat.
In the last few months, I’ve seen incredible feats of bravery, honor and generosity out of my countrymen. More than 2000 veterans crossed the country to aid the water protectors at Standing Rock. Donations to the American Civil Liberties Union have surged. Last weekend, the Children’s Literature community came together to raise money to aid Aleppo. And there are so many more examples.
So if you’re celebrating Christmas, remember the harsh journey Mary and Joseph took to protect God’s son. And if you’re celebrating Hanukkah, remember the courage it took to take on an army to reclaim the Holy Temple.
Great things are worth fighting for, are worth being resilient for. Don’t lose faith. Don’t lose hope.
And to close this out, because you can never have enough Hamilton:
“I’m past patiently waitin’. I’m passionately smashin’ every expectation. Every action’s an act of creation! I’m laughin’ in the face of casualties and sorrow. For the first time, I’m thinkin’ past tomorrow.”
– Alexander Hamilton, My Shot
Happy Holidays! – Bree
Breeanna Pierce is a US Army veteran who writes YA Contemporary Fantasy and runs the blog Live. Learn. Write.