I am not okay. I’ve been grieving. Mourning a devastating loss. Dealing with anger and disappointment and frustration and fear and the very tiniest bits of hope. And I know I’m not alone.
I’ve been reading articles and posts and diatribes and manifestos, trying to make some sense of how we got here and what the future holds.
I voted. I do my best every day to spread information and reason and decency and critical thinking and open-mindedness and education and logic and compassion. I guess I need to do more.
I’ve been thinking long and hard about what it means to me to be an American, and what our founding fathers would have done in this situation, and what history has taught me about rebellion and progress.
So I’m not going to give up. I’m not going to move to one of the many countries in the world that are better at caring for their citizens. I’m not going to abandon the half of my country that is intelligent and kind and hurting just as much as I am if not more. I have brains and skills and talents, and America needs all the brains and skills and talents it can get right now.
I’m not going to flee as if this were a sinking ship. Instead, I’m going to think of it as a ship that has been taken off course. If all the intelligent and kind and hurting people jump overboard, who will be left to take the wheel from those who are steering us in the wrong direction? I’m not giving up on this country, which was founded with such beautiful ideals, but which has always struggled with upholding them. If I give up now, I’m dismissing the sacrifices of all those who came before me. Those who fought against colonial rule, and slavery, and segregation in all its forms. Those who protested meaningless wars and broken systems and cruelty and ignorance.
The people of America did not elect Trump; the archaic and unbalanced electoral college system did. So I’m choosing to believe that we still have a majority of sane, reasonable people in this country. We can take America back from those who wish to drag us back into the dark ages. We’ve done it before.
So I’m going to make art. I’m going to learn graphic design and find new ways to put beautiful things in the world. I’m going to share the words that give me hope and peace. And I’m going to keep on spreading compassion and knowledge and reason. I’m going to face my fears and stand up to the bullies, and the bigots, and the spreaders of lies and misinformation. They no longer get a pass for the sake of politeness and peacemaking.
I’m going to use what resources I have, including my brains and skills and talents, to move forward out of despair.
I’m going to do what I can, right here, with the hope that it will make a small difference.