As we recover from the past few months of intense emotions and inflammatory speeches, we wonder what the future holds. Larry and I both worked as volunteers for the Clinton campaign, knocking on doors and talking to people about the candidates and getting people registered to vote. Now it is over. The financial markets have settled down, but we remain numb. We spent long days with like minded people who believed and gave up their time and energy to get the first woman in the White House. Now we have to pick up the pieces and move on.
Except for one thing. Our lives have changed and we can’t go back. In looking forward one question comes to mind: what will we do now?
How do we live in this world led by he who shall not be named?
First of all, in case you hadn’t noticed, we don’t actually have a choice. This is who our next president will be and unless we learn to time travel like Hermione, we can’t change that fact. This is the world we will live in for the next four years.
Here are some things I will not do:
- Drink heavily.
- Get angry
- Slither under the covers and hide from the world
- Continue to mourn
- Move to Canada
So, what does that leave?
Actually an awful lot. We still live in a country that is democratic and based on the concept of one person one vote. We each get to choose who we want to lead us and hope that others have done the same. In a two party system that usually means that about half of us get our choice, and the other half does not. That’s just the way it goes. We mourn, we cry, we stay in bed and then we have to move on, accepting the result.
We worked hard to elect the first woman president. The polls said it would happen and in our hearts we wanted this outcome so much we could almost taste it. If you are a woman or have a woman your life you love, you know what that felt like. Unfortunately events did not match our expectations.
I had a chat with my daughter on Wednesday. She was distraught, “how could this happen” she wondered. “What now?” For that I do have an answer!
We get back into the game
I will be looking around these next days and weeks for a cause to lend my support to. We all have options. We can be spectators and watch events as we move through life or we can be part of history and help to shape it. I choose the latter. I hope you will join me in helping to make the world a better place and have a positive impact on the lives of those less fortunate than we are. My daughter has a plan now. She and some other women at work are meeting next week to decide how they will get involved. I suspect they are not alone.
We took our eyes off the ball. We forgot about those less fortunate who need our love and attention and action. Maybe the politicians will help them. Or maybe they won’t Now we have to ask ourselves: are we willing to bet our lives on it? Or theirs?
Just do your job
We have another task: to ensure that the Congress and our State legislators do their job. Our politicians represent all of us, and we can work to put pressure on our elected officials to work to make all our lives better and protect everyone regardless of political persuasion, race, gender, ethnicity, religious persuasion or sexual orientation. This great country belongs to us all, and if we sit back and lick our wounds for four years, we are relinquishing our obligations as citizens. Change doesn’t come easily, and it’s often accompanied by hardship and sacrifice. If you don’t believe me, ask your parents and grandparents.
I’m going to leave you with a quote from Hillary Clinton’s concession speech on Wednesday.
“This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it,” she said. “We need you to keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives.”
There’s lots to do and we and can all be a part of it. Get involved in a cause where you can have an impact, be it the local animal shelter, cleaning up the rivers, volunteering at a food shelter, or getting involved in politics. It’s a big country with big issues. Let’s get moving . . . we have a lot of work to do!
****Thanks to my cousin LisaBeth for the inspirational Cause Pins.