My trip to Washington DC was soul stirring in many ways. This was the first time I’ve ever visited, and like most trips, it gave my soul a reprieve from the mundane, monotonous schedule of everyday life, but unlike most places that leave me in wonder and in awe, I came away with more questions about life and the future, than a feeling of contentment. Perhaps it is a sign of the times that one must question everything.
Like any visitor first stepping into DC, I visited all the “touristy” spots, expertly guided by my soul sister, Sarah, who’s living there at the moment. As we spent the crisp Fall morning walking after a delicious brunch, the White House came into view. It was……underwhelming…historic…nostalgic…beautiful; simply put, it was too many adjectives and emotions to properly describe the feeling of pride, a sense of loss, and a glimmer of hope for the future.
The feeling I felt that was most predominant while visiting was a sense of mystery, or even secrecy. It was as though the buildings were speaking to me, with their regal beauty on the outside, but so many hidden stories in the inside.
As I passed by the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, I couldn’t help but ponder on the fact that there have been thousands of people who have come and gone through this building, with their secrets kept in tact. How many who work in this town work towards peace, and how many are motivated by greed, money, and power?
I’d like to believe I’m an eternal optimist and the real shift in my perspective really came as I passed through the Jefferson, Roosevelt, and of course, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Memorials. The weight of their influence, and the gravitas of their words allowed me to reflect more deeply on my own principles.
I will end with quotes from two imperfect men, but their words are as important today as they were when they were spoken. “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal” (Jefferson) and “we must scrupulously guard the civil rights and civil liberties of all citizens, whatever their background. We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any hatred, is a wedge designed to attack our civilization” (Roosevelt).