Well, I can’t say that I was thrilled about the election results. Quite the opposite. I was disappointed. Hugely. But, almost immediately after I finished licking my wounds and consoling my sobbing 8-year old, my mindset shifted. I was going to effect change.
It’s one week since the election, and I am galvanized to take action. You won’t find me bitching and moaning (on social media or otherwise) about how awful this is. I am going to do something.
How I’m Going to Effect Change
I told my daughter, “From this moment forward, we work even harder on behalf of our gay friends, our Muslim friends, our black friends, and ourselves as females, to ensure that all our rights as Americans are preserved. When we see bullying, we will say something. We will do something.”
I put on a safety pin. Yes, this is a small symbol, but it’s still a symbol to the outside world that I am a safe person. If you feel insecure and afraid because you wear a head scarf or have brown skin or love someone of the same sex, then I have your back. I will do what I can to help you feel safe or get to safety.
I joined the local and national chapters of the National Organization for Women. I am a woman raising a daughter. I have been the victim of sexism and misogyny throughout my life, and I want it to end now. I want equality and justice for all people, starting with me, starting right now.
I went to a church (and did not spontaneously combust!) to be in fellowship with others whose principles include “honoring the worth and dignity of every person” and who promote “justice, equality, and compassion.” I need reminders that I am not alone in trying to live those values.
I went to Half Price books and bought works by Martin Luther King, Jr., Pema Chödrön, and the Dalai Lama. I want to feel inspired by those who have struggled and overcome. I want to be reminded that each of us can do something to bring more love and compassion into the world.
Be Angry, but Use That Anger to Effect Change
Hey, I’m no Pollyanna. I know things are ugly right now. Hate crimes appear to be on the rise. Misguided individuals are using the election results as tacit permission to antagonize, belittle, and terrorize their fellow Americans.
I know you’re angry about what’s happened. You’re sad, and you’re in pain. I get it. But, you have a choice to make right now about what you’ll do with those emotions.
I invite you, I encourage and implore you, to choose wisely. Direct your energy toward a higher purpose. Become a stronger member of your community. Be that person who acts on her purported values and principles. Join a group that supports your philosophy. Organize peacefully for justice and equality. And love the haters. It’s hard, but we have to love the haters.
Now is time to effect change. Now is the time to be courageous. Now is the time to speak out and act.
We can do this together. We can. We got this, y’all.