My grandfather was a crusty old guy who today would be labeled a narrow viewed staunch racist… but I didn’t know a thing about all that when he loved me and I loved him back. When I meet people who don’t cary an enlightened or kind point of view on any particular person or subject, I try to think of my grandfather and the fierce love he had for me in spite of the narrow hate he had towards some others. It helps me to realize the contradictions we’re all so capable of.
He had a giant old car he was proud of but we mostly took walks together instead. He told me about his Henry Ford motto: “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” and as I think about his contradicting racism and fierce big love, as I watch the rhetoric of politics and democracy finding it’s way, I think the motto’s got it right; to get somewhere we have to push hard against where we’ve been.