It’s weeks like this when I find myself hoping that I’ll sit down in front of the screen and find some magical inspiration.
And yet…I’ve learned this week that many of us in America are scared, and it’s based upon different fears that make it incredibly challenging for dialogue to happen. Some fear economic instability while others fear their stability will be disrupted. Some fear that social justice measures are taking opportunities away from them while others fear that loss of social justice means they’ll be marginalized. Almost all of us fear the unknown, which is definitely what we seem to have wandered into both socially and politically, with economics almost certain to follow. Just as polls and pundits were completely unable to predict electoral outcomes on Tuesday, none of us know what’s next (and if anyone did, would the rest of us trust anyone’s speculation at this point?).
And yet…I found myself on Wednesday wishing that I had a “free hugs” t-shirt to wear. It felt like almost everyone needed a hug, even if their reasons were different.
And yet…I’ve taken some of what I’ve seen and heard this week as a lesson that if social justice is truly one of my core values (and in fact may be my Absolute Core Value) that we still have plenty of work to do. I personally have work to do in this dimension, yes, and I now recognize that it’s too soon to be complacent, too soon to act as if we are post-racial, post-gender, post-LGBT, post-disability, post-any marginalized group. I’m speaking up more, I’m reaching out to friends who have fears because they are LGBT or Latina or defy gender identity, I’m sending money to organizations that I know do good work in social justice.
And yet…I have long defined myself by the mantra “Work hard, be kind.” This week I added “Choose courage” and “Love louder”. That’s the response that I’m choosing in the aftermath. And whatever courage and love look like for you, I hope you’ll choose them and do them a little louder. That’s my hope coming out of a bitter, contentious, fear-filled election season for each of us.
Or, to quote Anne Lamott, “Hope is not about proving anything. It’s about choosing to believe this one thing, that love is bigger than any grim, bleak shit anyone can throw at us.”
Indeed, it is. #lovelouder