I am trying to find the balance between living life in my mostly privileged bubble of family, work, community etc., with what’s happening in our country- to the rights of Muslims, to the environment, to women’s rights, to education, to Native Americans, to the freedom of speech of journalists, to the safety of refugees, to our health care, and to our relationship with Mexico.
It is tempting to try and avoid reading the news, to avoid scrolling through my news feed. It is tempting to fall into feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. How can I still stay aware of all that is happening in the government now, even though I deeply feel the pain of all those affected? Because like all of you, I still have a life to live and cannot walk around feeling helpless and hopeless, or angry and frustrated. I mean, I can, but it is very taxing on my body, and takes me away from being present for my kids.
So, what to do? That’s the key word: DO. What to do? How to take action, because it’s easy to fall prey to hopelessness and helplessness, or to confuse anger and frustration with action… Or to use the privileges I have received in this life to avoid the pain that doesn’t seem to be mine. And yet it is. It really is. It’s all of ours.
The truth is, many of us will be affected by the changes we are seeing, and will soon see. Those of us that are not affected, ask yourself- should your socio-economic status, your opinion, or the religion or race you were born into, exonerate you for caring about the welfare of others?
So, again, how do we strike the balance of caring deeply and continuing to care in the face of blatant disregard, lies, conflict of interest, and the truly steep uphill climb it feels like we are facing?
Do. Take action. I work from home, and create daily to-do lists for myself, so in addition to the normal things on my list, there’s going to be new added to-do’s on that list. They’ll be congressman and senators I need to call, they’ll be letters I need to stick in the mail, and thankfully there’s a list of 10 things to-do in this first 100 days that’s been circulating around the internet. So, I’ll add those things. I’ll speak up when the opportunity arises for me to do so. And I will pray, but I will also realize that earthly action is most certainly needed as well.
I will channel my worry, my anger, and my sadness into action, and I will love my kids. I will love the hell out of my kids, and I will practice presence and patience. And I will be so damn thankful and aware of my privileges in this life. And I will take action to support the equality of all others who deserve those same privileges.
Thank you to the voices that remind me to use my own.