It may not be coincidence that Inaugurals are celebrated at the beginning of New Years and fall around the feast of The Baptism of Jesus.
Yesterday, Justin Bib was inaugurated as our new Cleveland mayor and I was reminded that such celebrations are always occasions to promise more progress and also the best of times to reach out to everyone. Justin did just that and promised to do his best to make more friends than enemies.
Cleveland politics, so far, have proven to be extremely divisive. The very name Cleveland means “divided land” and right now divisions seem inevitable in all our politics. The very health of our form of democracy is at best on life support and fear prowls all around us.
Yet… watching this young man willingly shoulder burdens of leadership reminded me of another young man who years ago was elected governor and how full our hearts were then. Full of hope for better times in Ohio.
That Inaugural too fell on the day that celebrates the baptism of Jesus.
In my autobiography We Can Do Together, I describe that day in detail and today, decades later, I gratefully remember all the good we were able to do together with many and trust that what we failed to do will be yet done by those recently elected.
Since all Inaugurals are a form of baptism they are an opportunity to reject evil and opening our hearts to light and spirit.
The motto of Ohio is: “with god all things are possible.” May our best efforts benefit all and may our failures increase our humility and strengthen hope at the heart of it all.
As I sit here this morning overlooking the graceful skyline of this city, reflected in the troubled waters of the great Erie sea, barely visible in the snowy mist, I bless her new mayor, his family and friends and especially the defeated candidates. Together, may we chose to continue to work, non violently, to benefit all.