Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Small Steps, Big Mountains

A friend asked me if I felt that people were overreacting to the results of the 2016 election or if I was a little afraid.

I'm legit afraid.

I’m not just afraid of policies that might be carried out. I'm afraid for humanity.

I’m afraid of a fascist dictator, who encourages violence against peaceful protesters. I’m afraid of a nation full of people who blame immigrants and members of other religions for their own problems. I’m even afraid of friends and family members (though I still love you all) who think it’s okay to vote for someone who so openly has expressed his misogynist feelings towards women. I’m afraid of being set back in decades of progress.

I hope this fear we are experiencing pushes us to stand up for what is right. And I think that it certainly will.

A lot of people are legit afraid. And fear pushes people to action.

Fear pushed people to vote for Trump. His campaign has been fear-based, encouraging a nation to live in a world of scarcity - not enough money, not enough resources, not enough space for outsiders.

Now fear will push people to stand up for rights.

People are coming together; showing respect for all the different groups that Trump has offended; showing that they care and that we aren't going to let everything go straight to hell; showing solidarity and support for their fellow human beings.

I think we were overconfident that the good guys would win.

The sad reality has now hit us that we will have to continue to fight for positive change.

It starts small:
  • Volunteering at places that support women’s rights, equality, LGBT, education.
  • Speaking up against bullies and bullying behavior.
  • Asking questions to better understand someone else’s viewpoint.
  • Donating to Planned Parenthood or other organizations that might suffer from this.
  • Protesting when something is happening that will damage others or the planet.
  • Being kind to each other, even when we have disagreements, and we certainly will.

It's okay to be sad. It's okay to be angry. It's okay to be afraid. These are temporary feelings and they don't define us. They do, however, tend to lead to action.

Let’s stand together to make local changes and support causes we believe in no matter what our government looks like. With the nation so divided, let us unite. We’re stronger together.

In order to climb a mountain, you must take many small steps. In order to make big changes, we need to make smaller local changes.

No matter what candidate you voted for, no matter what country you’re from, or religion you practice, or your sexual orientation or what gender you identify with, you’re a living creature and you have every right to be heard. I don’t have to agree with you and you don’t have to agree with me. Varying opinions are good. Discussions should be taking place. Because with the infinite variables we face from birth to death, not a single one of us is going to think, feel or believe the exact same things as any other. And that’s a good thing! That leads us to question things, to make positive changes. Sometimes we make bad changes too. Sometimes we allow bad things to happen. But we can learn from those mistakes.

It’s a shame that so many people don’t seem to think that our differences are a good thing. I look around and I see beautiful variations. I see acceptance and understanding.

Today, I’m gonna cry. I’m gonna feel physically ill. I’m gonna mourn. And maybe I am overreacting.

But tomorrow, you can bet your f***ing a** I’m gonna plan my next small step.