“I'm in a glass cage of emotion!”
Are you smiling at least a little? You can't not smile after a solid Anchorman reference. Now that I've disarmed you slightly, let me say this with as much empathy and compassion as I can muster, SNAP OUT OF IT!
I'm angry too: I continually wake up in the morning to a world I am not prepared to face. I am stunned, surprised and disappointed. Then I check Twitter—and I feel worse. You may not feel that way. And that's okay. That is how I feel. I respect how you feel.
That's how it works. Respect begets more respect.
However, this morning, like many other mornings, I woke up to a social media feed full of hopelessness, shame and division, and I am not okay with that. I understand that as a white American, I cannot feel the full weight of what this President-elect means, but as a woman, a prospective parent of a child of a different race, as a special educator, as a mother of young children, I assure you—I still feel plenty.
I know that in the days and weeks leading up to the inauguration, lots of us are disheartened, but here is my plea to you—let's not use this occasion to divide ourselves further. There were and are lots of wrongs being committed in the name of politics; let's not wound each other with words we cannot take back.
We are already so broken.
What if, and this is just my middle class, mama-brain thinking here, but what if, we used all this frustration we feel today to do something. To take small, local action, that in turn could cause real change in our immediate communities:
- We have a HUGE problem with racial injustices. Sign up with your local branch of SURJ.
- Refugees need a safe place to call home. Find out how you can get involved with the IRC.
- Mentor a young person to choose empathy and compassion over fear. Be a Big Brother or a Big Sister.
Find whatever lights a fire in you, and as all the Michael Jordan posters in my elementary gymnasium used to say, Just Do It. Am I simplifying a much larger problem? Probably. Will it hurt you to try?
Not one damn bit.