I am on my way to the Women’s March in Washington as we speak. I’m wearing my comfy fleece-lined leggings and my “travel” socks, a pair of soft blue socks that come almost to my knees. Will is driving, navigating the somewhat stressful traffic streaming towards Washington. There was an accident, we just passed it. It caused traffic to back up for miles. Not exactly confidence inspiring. The world lights up red when everyone stops, the beads of rain on the windows glowing like a thousand malevolent insect eyes. My legs hurt. I’m ready to be there.
There. Washington D.C. The command and control centre of the U.S. and, on some level, of most of the rest of the world. A beautiful city, home of some of the world’s greatest museums and learning centres. The home of our president. As I head to march the streets of our capitol, my thoughts have been scattered and serious. We are living through what feels like a turning point in history. Whether it’s a turn for the better or for the worse is a question that has our nation’s people at each other’s throats. One half of the population sees that our country is in trouble and experiences the consequences of its struggles on a daily basis. Yet, instead of despairing, they are filled with hope and a desire to fight for change. I do admire them for this. Meanwhile, the other half of the population feels many of the same fears and challenges, but worries that their new leader will only exacerbate the issues. Meanwhile, we’re all dealing with the struggle to find accurate, unbiased information, the increasing tensions internationally, and the political fighting in our daily circles.
I have friends on both sides of the spectrum. I have dear friends who cried over today’s inauguration ceremony. I have others who threw parties, joyful over a turning point they’ve fought for. And I’m joining yet others who go tomorrow to march, not against Trump, but for recognition and for rights that they don’t believe are being represented well. I am not anti-Trump-voters, nor am I anti-liberal. I’m trying to adopt as inclusive a viewpoint as I can. We are all simply human, when it comes down to it. Our political views do not exclusively indicate whether we are kind, educated, intentional, or strong.
I do not have answers. Rather, I want to encourage everyone to simply stand up for what they believe in without tearing down those who disagree. This is how democracy works. It’s a conflicting, uncomfortable process. All we can do is be sure that our own role in it is a productive, calm, and understanding one. I’m not encouraging us to be passive, to sit back and let actions we deeply disagree with stand. By all means, fight hard for what you believe in. Be brave. Be strong. Stand up for yourselves and for each other. But remember that you are fighting ideas, not people. When you can, choose love and empathy. Look for community solutions. If you march, march for your ideas and your vision of a brighter, kinder future. Don’t march against. March for.
Here’s what I’m marching for:
- Friends and family who wish they could be here, but can’t make it for various reasons.
- My future daughter. She deserves better than the world we have now. She deserves better than the aftermath of Donald Trump.
- My life. I plan to be here for another good 60 years, at least. I don’t want to live in a crummy world where thousands of other Americans do not have the rights and resources they deserve. Furthermore, I don’t want to live in a world where my own rights and resources are attacked and taken from me.
- To show my face. I exist. I do not feel represented or respected by Trump and his policies and I feel that it’s important to show that I am here and am entitled to the respect of my president, who’s primary job is to serve all U.S. citizens.
- To show solidarity with other groups who are not being well represented and feel threatened by some American groups due to the election.