Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Day 9: The day after...
I was surrounded by faces of all colors, ages, and genders. I saw people I knew, some I'd not seen in years and many new faces as well.
I was reminded that, despite the despair I felt through much of last night and which I awoke with still this morning, that I am not alone. I live in a city that is for the most part, very progressive and supportive. I am surrounded by a strong and active community.
I know that I am lucky in this.
Because as I stood there in the square, I was also reminded that there are so many parts of this country where this is not the case. There are cities and towns across this land were LGBTQ people, people of color, immigrants, women and other minority groups will find that due to the results of this election, they are now less safe within their own communities and that there are few, if any, people willing to stand with them. There are people with serious health issues who stand to lose the affordable insurance they now have (myself included). There are elderly and disabled people who may lose what little support they now receive.
There is a real and justified fear that exists now.
The man who was just elected president has zero experience with political office. He policies are not going to be good for the people of this country. They will negatively impact the environment, and if his own business record is any example, he will not be good for the economy either.
We have a very tough four years ahead of us that are filled with so much uncertainty it can feel paralyzing, and right now many of us feel powerless. I don't have any great answer to any of this, I've no cute phrase to share but I have hope. And starting today I've three things I plan to do...
1. Pay attention to my self care. Do all of those things I am supposed to do to keep myself mentally together and physically strong. I will get enough sleep. I will eat well. I will keep my body strong. I will dance. I will make music. I will write. I will mediate. I will do all of these things because in order to do the second item on the list, I need to be healthy.
2. I will speak out. I will stand up. I will take my place along side those people who want to make this world a better place. I will give my time and energy to my community, my friends and to those in need. I will actively work to improve things in my world. I will help organize.
3. I will pay even more attention to my choices. We may only vote once a year, but we all have the power to vote with our wallets everyday. I will spend my money locally. I will seek out American made goods. I will support fair trade. I will "use it up, wear it out, make do or do without." I will still live as low impact of a life as I can. Because it appears right now that our government is about to roll back a whole lot of environmental protections and the only defense our planet might have is how we choose to spend our money.
I don't think these things will work miracles. And maybe doing these things will only give me an illusion of having some sort of control over an awful situation, but the other option is to stand by and do nothing. Burying my head in the sand and pretending bad things don't exist is not something I've ever been good at. Taking action of some kind, any kind, is the only way I'm going to get through the next four years.