Okay, so we are into a new year, a new beginning with new struggles, new lessons, new writing, new everything. Many young people do not realize the damage this country has gone through with inept leaders at the helm.
Typically I would not "go political" on a professional blog, but so many artists and writers are sharing their feelings, and since I share my thoughts on twitter and facebook and a host of other social media pages, it feels wrong to not include my professional blog in the list.
Our country is facing some dangerous changes. A person with little regard to the welfare of others will become the leader of the United States of America. A person with boatloads of money to squander on gold toilet flanges and ten-thousand-dollar suits will be in charge of the fate of 100 million people in this country and millions of others outside this country. The Electoral College has spoken, and this person will be the president.
At times I shrink and say "what if we just sit back and wait it out?" - but just for a moment. Once I realize that defeatist attitude has infiltrated my being, I battle it out and say to myself "What would Anna do?" (Anna is my sister and my biggest cheerleader). When Anna feels overwhelmed, she runs. She runs and listens to music and escapes the fear by focusing on something she loves to do. She isn't running away from a problem, she is finding her center, finding her focus, finding herself again.
So I must do what I do when I need to find myself.
I must write.
I must create, I must speak out, I must make myself clear.
I must be direct and honest, while still showing compassion and grace when I am faced with insults to my intelligence.
I have been called some nasty, dirty names by people who do not know me. They have called me a "Lib-Tard" and "Sorry excuse for space" and "I feel sorry for your students."
All because I said "I have better things to do than watch the inauguration of a man who treats women like property and openly mocks people with disabilities. I'm washing my hair on inauguration day."
I will stand by my statement. I will wash my hair on inauguration day, and stand with my fellow writers who are tweeting #WritersResist
I cannot just sit and support a person who has openly mocked people with disabilities, bragged about sexual assault, denied payment to contractors, and a host of other despicable actions, just because the Electoral College elected him president. Respect is earned, and he has not earned my respect.
The Arts are where we tell the truth through stories.
Artists across the country and the globe are coming together to say NO. This is NOT what our country is about. We will NOT condone this type of behavior. We will fight for our rights, for the rights of others, for the rights of those without voices - we will not allow rich men in power to determine our fates.
My fate lies within myself.
We must be daring. We must find the strength within ourselves and among ourselves to keep kindness and empathy at the forefront of the American psyche.
As my father said when the current president-elect won the nomination, "We've survived assholes before. We'll survive this one."
I agree. We will survive. If we work together. If we work with intelligence and within the law and within our rights.