In the final days before the election, I am worried. I am worried about the future of our country–the polarization, the hate rhetoric that I’ve heard, the proposed legislation that takes more and more rights away from women, transgender people, and people of color, and more. Frankly, I’m worried about our democracy; I am concerned that if some folks don’t win then they will just say that it was stolen and contest it.  

And yet, I’m still here, breathing life into hope, loving as deeply and fully as I can and deeply committed to making things better. As we breathe into these next few days, I share with you the Sikh prayer by Valarie Kaur, written on the day after the election in 2016.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
In our tears and agony, we hold our children close and confront the truth: The future is dark.

But my faith dares me to ask:
What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb?
What if our America is not dead but a country still waiting to be born? What if the story of America is one long labor?
What if all the mothers who came before us, who survived genocide and occupation, slavery and Jim Crow, racism and xenophobia and Islamophobia, political oppression and sexual assault, are standing behind us now, whispering in our ear:
You are brave? What if this is our Great Contraction before we birth a new future?

Remember the wisdom of the midwife: “Breathe,” she says. Then: “Push.”

Now it is time to breathe. But soon it will be time to push; soon it will be time to fight — for those we love — Muslim father, Sikh son, trans daughter, indigenous brother, immigrant sister, white worker, the poor and forgotten, and the ones who cast their vote out of resentment and fear.

Let us make an oath to fight for the soul of America — “The land that never has been yet— and yet must be” (Langston Hughes) — with Revolutionary Love and relentless optimism.

And so I pray this Sikh prayer:

Nanak Naam Chardi Kala,
Tere Bane Sarbat Da Bhalla
“In the name of the Divine within us and around us, we find everlasting optimism.
Within your will, may there be grace for all of humanity.”
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh