What. A. Day.
Starting from the poster making with friends, explaining to Plumster what and why we are marching, taking the train to downtown LA in jam-packed cars, to finally stepping out onto sun-kissed Pershing Square, and be surrounded by the phenomenal crowd; oh the chants, the songs, and all the creative, positive energy. We absorbed it all like hungry malnourished plants in a drought. On the train ride home, a mother mused out loud to no one in particular, “I wonder if what we did today made a difference.”
On the face of it, what with the social media coverge, the 670+ sister marches around the globe from Anarctica to Nigeria to Hong Kong, with the 5 million participants, we must have made a difference, right?
The truth of the matter is, I am not sure. We can march, and make posters, and “like” and “heart” all the posts we want, but did we make a difference in the future we are trying to leave to our children? Is there anything else we can do, after such an energizing AND exhausting day?
Well yes! The march is just the beginning. You can go to Women’s March website and start the 10 actions in 100 days. Here are some of my suggestions to do at home while the iron is hot:
- Subscribe to professional journalism. Sure, I rely on the trending feeds on my facebook, or the New York Times free 10 articles a month as much as anyone. To ensure our source is reliable in order to hold our new administration accountable, we need honest, in-depth news report from the professionals. We need the feeds from people who were trained and have the time to gather data, analyze their findings, and, report in thoughtful ways. And we need to pay for their hard work! Go ahead, take you pick: New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, The Wall Street Journal. How about something for your listening pleasure? Donate to NPR? KCRW? Instead of accidentally picking up propaganda fed by the Kremlins, let’s pay our fellow Americans for doing their job. And no, I do not have any financial disclaimer to disclose.
- Don’t let the political parties divide nor define us. Our elections have turned into a political sport, what with the Red team and the Blue team going against each other at all cost, including, not the least, supporting an unfit presidential candidate. I believe that despite our political and religious differences, we all want basically the same things! We all want shelter, food, health, human decency, clean air, and to be with people we love. Don’t we? We all want to leave a clean environment to our children. Don’t we? We all want to teach our children to do the right things. Don’t we? So what difference does it make if someone prays to a different God? Or decide that they want to spend the rest of their lives with someone of the same gender? Or want to be able to carry their guns in a safe way? Let’s not let the political parties divide us! Prepare and educate yourself by reading from reliable resources (see point 1). If you care about health care, education, environmental, and human rights issues, does that make you a disloyal Repulican if you vote for a Democartic candidate? No! That makes you a well informed voter. Your party’s politicians don’t own you. They work for you. You do not, and I repeat, YOU DO NOT, have to vote for a candidate because he or she is your party’s nomenee.
- Reach out to one another. Are you the lone climate change believer in your family’s Thanksgiving dinner? Join your local groups, talk with people who share similar values, energize and don’t despair! You are not alone! There really are people who believe in civil rights, gender equality, climate change, doing more to save our planet, basic human decency, and taking care of each other’s medical needs. There are so many of us around the world! You saw us today! We are with you.
- Plan for a visit to another American city for a vacation! Meet the people who put Trump where he is. Visit their grocery stores, local libraries, cafes, their local attractions. Engage. And most importantly, LISTEN! Listen to their grievences, formulate positive connections. Nothing infuriate them more than a know-it-all-city-bloke coming down to lecture them. Listen and engage in a positive manner. Then, and only then, should you voice your opinion.
- Realize your New Year’s Resolution. It’s been twenty one days since we rang in 2017. Did you make your resolution? If not, what would you like to improve this year? For me, I want to get back to an exercise routine, make more home-cooked, healthy meals, spend more quality time with little Plumster and MK, and participate in more research projects. In the wise words of Confucious (or the fortune cookies), “don’t try, just do”. It will energize you, make you happier and want to change the world.
Below are some pictures from Women’s March in Los Angeles, if you would like to see: