“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” – Angela Davis
I don’t normally write posts fully devoted to politics or current events – I barely manage to keep a blog about books up and running. But it feels like my world has turned upside down and I can’t move forward with sharing books and my life with you without acknowledging that.
My heart is broken. I don’t really feel hopeful. I feel scared. I’m worried about the safety and well being of so many Americans, and our planet. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote (possibly by 2 million votes) – but she’s not our president. I know I can’t change that. But I will fight every day for what I believe in, and to add my voice to the growing movement that won’t allow Trump to speak for our beliefs.
Here are some of the things I’ve done, and plan to do:
- Donate. I’ve donated to Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and Foster Campbell. I will continue to donate monthly to causes I believe in.
- I bought a digital subscription to the NY Times. It’s shameful that I didn’t already have one. We’re in a reality where people on both sides spread misinformation from shady websites, and real journalists have an uphill battle. It’s important to support their work.
- I’m spreading the word about how to switch to green energy, especially to my NYC friends since ConEd makes it so easy. I’m already feeling uplifted by how many people have told me they’ve just made the switch.
- I’m volunteering my time, starting with regular sessions at the Arab American Family Support Center in my neighborhood. I’ve spent time with immigrants here in the past – helping them learn English and study for their citizenship exams. It’s a cause that’s close to my heart, and an extremely rewarding experience. My company’s generous volunteer time off policy will allow me to do this twice a month.
- I will continue to read diverse books and learn from other voices, read books about how to make a personal impact, and read books that lift me up — to help me be there for people and causes that need me.
I don’t usually like to post about volunteering or donating. But I will be vocal about it now – just as I hope all of you will be vocal about how you’re contributing to the causes you believe in, whatever they are. That will help keep this work top of mind for all of us, and help us encourage each other. I’d love you to share what you’re doing in the comments, or ideas of ways to make an impact with our time (there’s no end of worthy causes to donate money to). I live in an always blue state, and my district was 94.39% for Hillary, so I am trying to figure out how to get involved locally in a way that is impactful.
My final, disjointed thoughts: if we’re going to be ok as a country, we have to figure out how to make facts and truth matter again (on both sides), we have to figure out how to listen to each other – REALLY listen, and we have to figure out how to get young people to care enough to vote. We can’t hide from things that make us uncomfortable, we can’t take refuge in echo chambers, and we can’t turn away from each other.
“You’ve got to keep beating the drum for justice.” – Bryan Stevenson