Getting Upset Isn’t Enough

There’s been a lot going on in our country that has been frustrating. And sometimes downright scary.

People are being polarised — it seems like we are in two camps facing off against each other. There is fear on both sides, and when people act out in fear, they can say or do harmful things.

Whether you voted for Trump or not, he’s here for the next 4 years. And I don’t really care if you like it. I do care if you blindly agree (or blindly disagree) with everything he does just because you are on one side of the wall, er, I mean, fence.

People’s feelings may get hurt in this polarisation. It can stress relationships and friendships.

But regardless of our opinions and what we think is right, people’s lives are being impacted by the decisions coming from the White House.

Real people.

People who aren’t like me.

People who’s shoes I can’t put myself in because there is literally no way I can imagine what they are going through.

A lot of people are scared. A lot of people are unhappy.

But, ironically, that is one thing I have to thank the new administration for.

What I mean is:

People are unhappy and for once it seems like people are actually doing something about it. 

I’m proud to see my newsfeed filled with people (peacefully) protesting, whether it was for the Women’s March (girl power!) or the March for Life. People aren’t just complaining on Facebook when they are unhappy (although there are plenty of people still doing that too). People are getting off their asses (literally) when they think things are not right — like the thousands of people who showed up at airports yesterday to protest the “Muslim ban.” Honestly, looking at posts from friends who were there, I was so proud and grateful for women like them.

Many of us (myself definitely included) get caught in the cycle of just complaining about how things are without doing anything about it.

Thanks to the Trump administration, people are starting doing something about it.

You may not like the protests. You may think they are misguided. You may think they are a waste of time (“don’t these people have jobs?”).

But whether you like or not, peaceful protests are part of America and America’s history.

Don’t be silent.

If you are standing up for what you believe to be right, BE VOCAL. And use your actions as well as your voice.

Don’t just complain about it with friends who think the same way as you.

Find actual ways to start solving the problem you see. Pro-life and want to reduce abortion? Consider how birth control and sex education play a role (hint: they work). Upset about the refugee ban? Donate to one of the many refugee organisations working tirelessly out there.

Write letters.
Call your senator.
Put your money where your mouth is.
Have intelligent conversations.
Fact check (no, alternative facts don’t count).
Educate yourself.
Don’t just read articles that back up your beliefs (aka confirmation bias).
Read stories of people who are actually affected by different policies.
Don’t just go along with party lines (again, on both sides. We are people. Humans. Not political opponents).
Volunteer. Protest. Donate your time. Be a voice for those who can’t for themselves.

It’s time to stop complaining and start being a part of the solution. Small actions add up to big movements.


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