The year is almost at a close, and boy, what a year it’s been. There were good things, there were bad things (I’ll spare you the top list for this one), and then there was the election.
On election night I was one of those shocked white people that couldn’t believe what I was watching unfold. I went to bed thinking, “how could this happen?” I woke the next morning feeling numb and in disbelief (obviously, my white privilege had taken over, so that’s something I’ve had to work on). I’ve had moments of denial, disbelief, and just plain being scared. In a way I felt paralyzed, like I no longer had any control or say in what the next four years would bring.
But no matter how discouraging and dark it may seem, now more than ever we need to get up and take action. So before 2017 hits, here are some things you can do to make 2016 a little better.
- Don’t argue, talk: A few years ago I wrote a blog post about the arguments my father and I used to get in and how we figured out a way to have respectful conversations by putting our relationship first and our differences second.
- Organize: Join organized resistance like the Injustice Boycott.
- Try to understand: There is a lot of interesting analysis out there on why people voted the way they did. It’s helped me understand the state of our country and where people are coming from. It doesn’t make me feel better, but at least it puts some of the puzzle pieces together. After all, if we don’t understand the whole problem, it’s hard to find a solution.
- Register for Advocacy Day: Talk with your legislators about local issues that impact survivors. It’s more important now than ever!
- Pay attention to people: In a time when things feel so divisive, take a moment and ask people how their hearts are doing. Slow down, really listen, and find common ground.