“I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.” –Mother Teresa
The women’s march on January 21, 2017 was a beautiful sight. It was a place of solidarity, passionate standing up for the rights of women, and as it turned out (not surprisingly)…an anti-Trump world rally. Which meant a LOT of denigrating signs about him. I can fully understand and respect people’s right to be ANGRY. I am among the fully pissed-off (and getting more-so anytime I look at the news. Or Facebook. Or talk to another human being and politics comes up.) I just don’t see our anger and Trump-bashing as the way towards change. During the election season, I posted to my Facebook wall a reference to a Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror episode. The one where Homer steals a huge plastic donut from a huge statue (I just googled it…it’s name is Lard Lad), and Lard Lad (gawd, I love the Simpsons) comes to life and so do all these other advertisement statues and they become monsters that wreak havoc on the town until Lisa Simpson comes up with a jingle that goes “just don’t look.” Once everyone ignores the statues, they lose their powers and return to lifelessness. I referenced that story because I was imagining that Trump was like the statues, and if we ignored him, he would go away. Now, I know that that’s not how things work, especially now. But I do believe that he gets energy from getting attention, from getting people riled up, and from getting media coverage, good or bad. So, what do we do, given that this is our reality?
I have learned through this election that what is needed is for us all to be active citizens, in order to change the political landscape. We can’t just rally against what’s happening—we have to have a place to look and walk towards.
Complacency is the enemy, but so is becoming filled with hatred and anger so that no love is left. Complacency is a big enemy to fight—it’s so easy to get apathetic and turn off the news or, even if I watch it, to feel disempowered. And then, if I’m lucky enough to not be complacent, to engage and to fight the feelings of powerlessness—to remain hopeful, to fill my heart with love—it’s a big task. It’s a task I am struggling with, daily. And it’s partly a struggle because almost every piece of news is infuriating and the protests and actions on offer from the new resistance movement are predominantly (nearly 100%) anti, not pro, in stance.
Empowerment to me looks like taking action to create the world I want to live in. Mother Teresa did just that, creating soup kitchens and orphanages and helping people who were sick and poor. She saw a need and a lack and instead of rallying against it, she worked tirelessly to make institutions that helped and that created more love in the world.
Sometimes, you have to let the ‘lazy susans’ of the world—people who just like to spin in madness—spin. It’s hard, sometimes it feels impossible, to let something incomprehensible just be, but I could rally forever against the atrocities of the world, and there will be just as many atrocities, and one more person rallying against them.
I want my voice to be a voice that speaks for love. I want to sow seeds of love in my life and in the world. I’m looking at the woman in the mirror and I’m asking her to change her ways. I want to make the world a better place.