“People who really want to make a difference in the world usually do it, in one way or another. And I’ve noticed something about people who make a difference in the world: They hold the unshakable conviction that individuals are extremely important, that every life matters. They get excited over one smile. They are willing to feed one stomach, educate one mind, and treat one wound. They aren’t determined to revolutionize the world all at once; they’re satisfied with small changes. Over time, though, the small changes add up. Sometimes they even transform cities and nations, and yes, the world.” ~ Beth Clark
It doesn’t matter who you voted for—but it does matter what you do now.
Each day matters, just like a piece of a puzzle or patchwork quilt—and while the obstacles seem insurmountable and the difficulties may overwhelm, the one thing we need to do is not lose sight of the destination or our purpose.
It’s irrelevant if supporters of President Trump say it’s the same as they felt when President Obama took office—and it doesn’t even matter if they say that we’re just whining, because we know the truth, and we don’t need to prove it. We just need to live it.
It’s insignificant because this is our journey to walk, this is our time to experience what this moment feels like not just for us, but for this period in American history.
For those who have chosen truth and love as their weapons, we know that today is a desperately sad day for our country—not because of who our president is, but because of what he represents.
The reality is that the Ku Klux Klan has endorsed President Trump, and for me, the issue can’t get any more black and white than that. He is not someone who represents my ideals, my heart or my dreams for my children.
But it doesn’t matter how I feel, because it’s not going to change the fact that this man is going to be my president, whether I agree with his principles or not—and that is why the only thing I can focus on now is how to survive the era of Trump.
Whether it seems bleak or not isn’t what we should focus on, but rather, we must give our attention to what will grow within this stage of darkness—what will blossom like the lotus within the mud of impossibility.
We must love like it’s our job.
This might seem like a simplistic ideal when it comes to handling this part of our history, but in reality, love is the strongest force in the world—nothing can conquer it.
Love can conquer hate.
So what we have to do is extend love toward all our neighbors. We have to make the choice to see those around us with compassion in our hearts. This means giving to those less fortunate, holding open doors, smiling more, asking others how they are doing—and meaning it.
It means being present enough in this life to extend love toward all of those who cross our paths, regardless of the hate the current administration might darken our lives with.
It may not always be easy to love everyone, but the alternative is to hold onto to hate, which only breeds more darkness.
None of us are perfect, but we all still deserve to be loved.
So, speak up.
It’s important to never remain silent about the things that matter most. We must continue to carry and speak up about all of the things that matter to each of us.
Speak up, and voice your opinion about race, gender and sexual-orientation equality.
Don’t be afraid to be the only one standing up—be wary of being one of many who aren’t.
Nothing can change if we don’t actually make the choice to create change. We can’t assume that we can leave this task to someone else. Instead, we need to become empowered to use our own unique voice to create the world that we want to live in.
This means blogging, writing letters, contacting your congressmen and women, and even just having conversations that matter, that can enlighten each other and bring thought provoking conversations to the forefront.
Make the choice to speak up for everyone, and know that we will become stronger for it.
Accept each other for who we are.
Accepting someone for who they are means also extending this to President Trump. He is who he is, and while we cannot change his limited views regarding race, religion, immigrants and sexual-orientation, we can choose to accept each other.
We can extend the unconditional acceptance to others who may be lacking it in an environment where hate is allowed to breed.
Yet, this isn’t done unconsciously or quietly; it must be said and done out loud and wholeheartedly.
Thank those around you for being who they are—just as they are—and support them in whatever path they are on. When we’re out in the world, instead of wearing shields of fatigue, distress and irritation, let’s practice acceptance of everyone.
Give people a break, because the reality is that we are all battling something.
This time of our lives won’t last forever.
In four years, hopefully, we will elect a new president—someone who will honor the civil liberties that we all deserve. So we can’t let ourselves become lost in the darkness—rather, we must focus on the light.
Because there is a light at the end of the tunnel; there is a light at the end of the Trump era.
And while we don’t yet know what this coming presidency will bring, or what we will be asked to stand up for, we can make the choice to love, accept and speak up knowing that, eventually, light always wins.
In time, things will always get better—but only if we chose to make them that way.
Author: Kate Rose
Image: Flickr/Jamelle Bouie
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina