Two Weeks After November 8th: Acceptance
Like so many of you, I’ve spent the last two weeks trying to process the results of this election. I’ve felt tears, anger, confusion, and so much more. There was a moment when I was chatting with one of my dearest friends asking, “is there room for a Cammy Nelson in Canada?” while tears were streaming down my face. We all needed time to exhale, time to process the shock. Now, two weeks later, I have arrived at acceptance.
This is not the acceptance you may be expecting. The acceptance I’ve reached stems from two very different places:
- History has a way of repeating itself. We had eight years of a Democratic administration. Rarely in our history as a nation has a party remained in the White House for more than two Presidential terms. Additionally, we can reflect on the election of the Nixon Administration. After progress came from the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s there was resistance as there was progress. The same can be seen in this election.
- Action is no longer an option; it is a necessity. Anyone who has studied history knows that great change comes from even greater sacrifice. It is no longer acceptable to believe that sharing an article or video on Facebook is “enough”. If you really want to make a difference, it’s time to start investing in it. This means donating to organizations you believe in, volunteering your support, and giving your energy to people who desperately need you.
It’s not going to be easy. The easy part was registering to vote and getting to the polls. That was the easy, low energy investment in your country. Voting isn’t the only thing you’re called to do as a citizen. Far from it. You have the opportunity, now the responsibility, to do so much more.
“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness) it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness” (The Declaration of Independence).
This was the belief our country was founded on: when we feel that our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness is threatened, it is our right, as the people, to alter our government. It is our right to take to the streets, to stand up for what we believe in, and see to it that the rights of our fellow Americans are not threatened. This is not just about you and me any longer; it is about the lives of those who felt threatened during a tumultuous and terrifying campaign. It is your right, your responsibility as a citizen of the United States, to call your representatives and demand answers, to demand action.
Now, I’m not calling for a revolution in government. No, I’m asking you to participate fully the system that grants you the inalienable right to act. Because what he have now is an imperfect nation that needs your full investment in order to make it a better place in which to live, work, and believe.
As a woman, I certainly have a stake in this. My body and my rights are what is at stake. As a young adult, it is my future that is at stake. This administration will select supreme court jurors and initiate legal actions and initiatives that will remain in place for decades to come. What we choose to do today and tomorrow matters. What is accomplished in this moments effects our lives for years to come.
Yes, I have arrived at acceptance – Acceptance that I can no longer put my political aspirations somewhere in the distant future. I can no longer sit silently while opposing voices speak with an increasing volume. I can no longer submit to the power of the oppressor out of fear of being uncomfortable. My discomfort pales in comparison to the fear of my neighbors. I know I can do something about it. So can you.
For months, I have been speaking about the power a simple act of bravery can have. Bravery can be frightening, but this is not a time to let fear win, to listen to the voice that tells you it’s too scary. Yes, it is frightening to attempt something you’ve never done. But we need you to take action. Now. Because what is even more terrifying is what will happen if you choose to remain idle. There’s no more time. Today is what we have and today is calling us to take action.
Now, your brave does not need to be big, but I need you to understand why your bravery must be inspired by something bigger than you. Our future is at stake. I know there is hope if we all choose to be brave and do something real, something tangible. Ultimately, it is your choice, but please understand that you’re doing nothing could be taking the right to act away from someone else. Do not underestimate your power at this moment; it is greater than you know. Use it.
Pick up the phone and talk to your representatives. CALL.
Pull out your wallet and give what you can afford. DONATE.
Open up your calendar and pick a Saturday, an afternoon, an evening, a lunch hour, and dedicate that time to an organization or campaign that speaks to you. INVEST.
Start the conversation that makes you uncomfortable. Role play and be prepared to answer questions with an open mind. Stay calm and be respectful. Speak. LISTEN.
Do you know who your representatives are? Find out by visiting one of the websites listed below:
Don’t just write a letter. Call. Make an appointment. Shake their hand. Get their attention and use it.
No time to make an appointment? Put your money where your mouth is. Find an organization that fights day in and day out for the cause you support:
Women’s Health and Rights:
Protecting our Planet:
LGBTQ Community Protection:
Donate your time, your money; whatever you can afford. All we have is today. Act now. If you’ve been waiting for your call to action, please consider this your official invitation. Join me in creating a future we feel optimistic about. It must be created. It’s on all of us to start doing the ground work and the heavy lifting. The weight will undoubtedly be heavy, but when we all choose to carry that weight together, we will go farther than we thought possible. Join me.