Women's March on Washington

Lets get down to it: This is a really hard post for me to write. 

Politics have never really been "my thing". I never understood a lot of the language and I felt stupid trying to to talk about it. As a young person, I never heard or really saw how policies effected me. I believed in the power of the people. Having the power to treat others the way we want to be treated; to include instead of divide. But over the past year it has become more and more apparent to me that maybe the world (and especially the country I call home) isn’t as loving as I thought it was.

Yes, I grew up in a comfortable middle class family. Yes, I grew up (unbeknownst to me at the time) with white privilege. Yes, I grew up in a very diverse area, which clouded my judgement of what I thought the rest of America looked like. 

If anyone saw the SNL skit “Election Night”…all the white people were me

The president has been elected. Some say it is not their president. Some think he is the right man for the job (61 million to be exact)

I'm going to drop a bomb: I didn’t vote.

(At this point you can think that the rest of this post is just pointless. And part of me agrees with you. I also can use my skills of argument and say, “If I had voted, the state I am registered to vote in would have still turned blue, and Hillary would have still won by the popular vote”)

I have learned that this is my civic duty to not just use my voice when I see injustice, but when it is a responsibility.

During this first week of a new president I have learned one thing, though there is a man in office that doesn’t align with my stances on policies and even morals; I STILL HAVE A VOICE. WE STILL HAVE A VOICE. BUT THEY NEED TO BE HEARD.

“In order to align your life choices with your values, you will need to inquire about the effects of your actions (and inactions) on yourself and others. Although we are always stumbling upon new knowledge that shifts our choices and life direction, bringing conscious inquiry to life means that we continually ask questions that lead us to the information we need to make thoughtful decisions. Asking questions is liberating because we develop great understanding and discover more choices with our new knowledge.”
-Zoe Weil

This is the road that will take more energy. More curiosity. This is where we can learn to listen to others and see where they are coming from. This is an opportunity to not just fight for our own rights but the rights of people that are not heard or seen or respected. 

The Women’s March on Washington was a transformative experience for me. It was the beginning of being involved and educating myself to understand how this affects the world around me. 

There is a lack of listening seated in the White House right now. I think there is lack of empathy in our world. I can fall into this category as well. I want to shut out anyone who has helped this administration become what it is. I want to beat myself because I didn’t vote and I “can’t complain.” But I also want to listen. I want to hear why. We should be having conversations. Maybe this could be one of the reasons why the election results happened the way they did. We easy dismiss what we don’t know and what we don’t understand…as easily as I dismissed politics because I didn’t understand. Learning is the greatest tool we have and learning about each other will give a broader idea of how our choices effect each other. 

I went to the March to finally start using my voice because I’m realizing it IS important. But I also went to the march to listen and hear what people were fighting for: Women’s Rights, Healthcare, Black Lives Matter, Abortion Rights, Clean Water, Immigrants Rights (the list goes on and on): but these are all fights of inclusion and understanding. We need to hear people. We need to use our voices but also try to hear all the voices around us.

 

When we truly listen, we can begin to empathize. When we empathize, we can learn to think beyond ourselves when we make choices.