One week ago, millions of people around the world gathered to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump. In the days that followed, my Facebook feed was filled with related messages including pictures from various marches and marchers, calls to make sure that the march becomes a movement, and a disheartening post on why the poster doesn’t support the women’s rights movement (and presumably any one of the dozens of other movements this president has already spawned, but I digress).
Although I was bothered by some of the movement posts (specifically, those that came across as self-righteous) I also knew that it was important that I take real action. But despite mentally drawing up a list of things to do, five days later I still hadn’t actually done anything. But I was also waking up each morning to new Facebook posts about the crazy things that “the Donald” had done the day before and was starting to feel very despondent. So I started googling and came across this awesome article that really got me inspired.
The two main reasons I liked this article so much (in addition to telling me about a cool app I was previously unaware of) were instructions #4 and #6: follow your own instructions and do it your way. The former because it helps you identify what is most important to you while also making taking action a little less overwhelming and the latter because it invites everyone to take action in a way that they are comfortable with (although a little discomfort might be a good thing) and that is truly their highest and best use.
With these two points in mind, I’ve started to edit my list a little. I didn’t carry a sign or wear a shirt with a catchy phrase on it when I attended the Prague Solidarity Rally. (Nor did I wear a pussy hat, although my beanie did have a vulva on it, so that’s gotta count for something, right?!) But as I scroll through all those posts about Executive Orders, gag orders, and the like, I notice that my reactions are subtly different depending on the topic. While all of them annoy me and many of them make me mad, it’s the ones about immigration, refugees, and that stupid wall that make me want to cry. So in addition to sending postcards to my Senators explaining why this issue is so important to me, I am signing up to be a monthly donor to the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (a fab organization in Seattle that I volunteered with for years—check them out if immigration is an issue that matters to you and especially if you are an attorney looking to volunteer your time!), and coming up with a list of other things that I can do this year to support this cause—and then putting aside time in my calendar each week to follow through (another great idea from that NY Mag article I linked to above).
Whether you participated in the Women’s March or not, have the events of the past week inspired you to take action to support an issue that matters to you?
Which one? What will you do?