By Samir Shukla
Milestones and Markers
Humans love marking milestones. Birthdays, Independence Days, family traditions, anniversaries. We ride the daily breezes with the ups and downs of life, the unrelenting roadblocks strewn into our paths by nature, by others, sometimes by our own stumbles, and we trek on, into the slithering, sliding and slippery alleyways of life. We persevere.
These challenges make us stronger, more alert, seasoned, to handle the unknowns headed our way tomorrow or the next day. It’s called experience, but also it is innate in our species, the wily ways of getting through the day, not just surviving but thriving and moving forward.
The journey can also be filled with creative endeavors, building things, creating art, fixing things, inventing the future, the tomorrow. Art, music, literature, dance, films, sports, the stuff of humans.
This month, the month of May, we mark another milestone. This is Saathee’s 24th anniversary issue. It’s the passion of creating a community resource that has driven us to continue this work, starting with a four-page photocopied and folded newsletter back in 1998 to the magazine you hold today. (You can digitally read the issue here: https://issuu.com/saathee/docs/saathee-charlotte-may-2022)
We continue our work to gather and present accurate and useful information, original writings and puzzles, connecting communities while making memories and coaxing dreams. We hope you find Saathee a worthy member of the community, worth reading and sharing. Our journey continues with your support, family, friends, neighbors, the greater community. We are now working to expand into multimedia.
We mark this month of milestone, take stock, gaze over the horizon, and then move onward.
The Churn of Democracy
While we celebrate our anniversary, we should all celebrate and protect our fragile democracy. That word seems to have become an afterthought in many parts of the world. Even here in the USA, the globe’s most powerful democracy, tribalism and divisiveness loudly shout, yet our democratic processes churn along, saner voices keeping it in check. And they should. We all should. Some will crib and opine that we are not actually a democracy. Maybe. We are the idea of democracy in action, a constantly evolving platform of ideas and societal improvement; don’t let pessimists and loudmouths tell you otherwise.
It seems the 2020 election just happened yesterday. The virus didn’t help matters, but America voted, in large numbers, and a fair election ensued. Some still doubt the election; well, let them doubt and simmer, burn out in their own misinformation fires. Self-delusion can only be undone with introspection stacked with facts and truth. Truth must be self-realized.
Now, ready or not, here comes the 2022 election season with primaries kicking off around the country. The Carolinas and Georgia all hold primaries in May. The fight right now is internal, within political parties, to get the party’s nomination for whatever office one is contesting. The summer will swoop in fast and the election season will kick off in earnest just as soon as the primaries around the country finish.
The first Tuesday in November awaits, holding in its arms the balance and the makeup of the Congress as well as myriad state legislatures and regional offices. As war rages in Ukraine, it is even more apparent that democracy needs to be defended, nurtured. Optimism is not actionable, but pessimism is a virus that must be checked via action. Let it churn, our idea of democracy must prevail.