In the 24 hours after the results of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election have been released, there has been an outpouring of thoughts on social media, news outlets, and other sources of personal opinion (including here, obviously). People are processing pain, sadness, and disbelief at the election of a man who has openly bragged about sexual assault and denied all of the fundamental human rights we once thought we valued; but a whole other segment of the American population is rejoicing over the change they hope to see in government, and perhaps more ominously, in the faces of those who make up this nation. Those who value progressive ideals are understandably outraged at this betrayal of decency, and yet this crippling division should be a sign that we all need to step outside ourselves and attempt to make concrete change.
IT is clear that individuals in every spectrum of society do not feel seen or their voices heard. These are the moments when local impact is most important. Consider going places outside of your bubble and spending time with people who do not agree with your moral or political values. Consider volunteering with groups who were marginalized by this election cycle; communicating with minorities and women who voted in favor of a man who has vowed to terrorize them and their communities. Donate to important causes that protect reproductive rights, safe asylum, and mental health for veterans, low income, and otherwise unsupported groups. The absolute roller coaster of misinformation, misread signs, and vitriol on our tv screens, tablets, and news feeds (should) demonstrate to us that our sources of news have been unreliable. We must take it upon ourselves to understand. The future of our nation depends on our self-education–NOT reliance on satire and social media for our sources of information. (I recognize that this personal platform is no better, but it’s more of a tool for me to record my thoughts.)
Do not respond with anger for what you do not understand. Do not feel resentment when others attack or disagree with you. Conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat, we are all flawed. We all have space to learn and grow. This is what I hope for myself and for my friends, family, and the American people.
I stand by a message of compassion, and seeking to understand before attempting to be understood … Beyond what we can control, individual acts will always matter.
xo your friend alice
Location: Tokyo, Japan (United States of America in my heart)