They aren’t big or flashy. They are about the size of a bread-box. But they are eye-catching. I’m talking about the signs I noticed in my neighborhood: the first one, a hopeful sighting, the second, an affirmation, and the third, a trend. I was on a Sunday evening walk, when I noticed this:
It’s a declaration, an incantation, a prayer. I love that it begins, “In this house, we believe,” which is a statement of true faith. Right now, our faith is being sorely tested. From conversations with friends, and scanning my Facebook feed, I know that I’m not alone in wondering where my country went. Basic American values like fairness, freedom of speech and religion, and everyday common courtesy and kindness seem to have been tossed aside like yesterday’s trash.
To put it crassly: Donald Trump is ruining the American brand. If I no longer feel at home in America despite being born and raised here, how must economic migrants or political refugees feel? Thankfully, a few principled Republicans like John McCain and Lindsey Graham are speaking out. Northern California Democrats are introducing legislation to overturn the refugee ban, and many organizations are challenging the new administration in the courts.
There are many reasons for hope, but these simple signs declaring that “Kindness is everything” in yards outside houses in my Oakland neighborhood have lifted my spirits tremendously.
Here in the Grand-Lake district, we are diverse and open-minded. I vote at my local Baptist church in every election, and I shop small merchants on Lakeshore Avenue. On any given day, I can hear a half a dozen languages spoken before I reach the bus stop in the morning. We are every shade from ecru, to café au lait, to burnt toast, and every religion, or none. We are runners, bicyclists, square dancers, and practitioners of hip-hop. Whenever something happens – the Ghost Ship warehouse fire, Prince’s death, or a hostile takeover of our government – we gather to mourn, celebrate, or protest.
Lately, it’s mostly protest marches. Here is what we believe:
Black Lives Matter
Women’s Rights are Human Rights
No Human is Illegal
Science is Real
Love is Love
Kindness is Everything
Visit facebook.com/inthishouseproject and like their page. Namaste, y’all.