Be grateful and be kind, that is what the holiday season is all about. I like to think of this as my daily mantra. Words, they are comforting, but action is empowering. It has been an unsettling couple of weeks for many people. With that being said, this is not going to be a political rant, so I implore you to keep reading. This is more of a call to action. A call to kindness, actually. Can we all agree to that? It’s my hope that we all have a few things in common, most importantly a vow to love, respect and accept one another as human beings — no matter our differences. I truly hope we can all agree to this intention and here are some steps we can take to accomplish this goal.
In regards to the election results, I am choosing to view this situation as I would any other. It’s an opportunity to reflect. An opportunity to hold myself accountable for my own actions. To vow to live a life guided by integrity, love and acceptance. To raise my child with those values. To do more to speak up for those that feel they don’t have a voice. To have compassion for others, no matter our differences or our opinions. To offer this up to the universe and to continue to surrender to all of the things I cannot control and to take action to support the things that I can. I choose to live a life rooted in love instead of hate and fear but I am also choosing to fight for the things I believe in, and maybe you will want to join me? I wasn’t sure where to start so I did some research and here is what I came up with.
- We can remain calm. Our energy is contagious and an inner sense of calm will allow all of us to accomplish more. When we are calm we are able to communicate in a more meaningful way and we can support one another with compassion and clarity. When you find yourself straying from that state of calm start with one mindful breath to help bring you back to center.
- Listen. This is important. It takes courage, patience and compassion to really listen to one another. Have a conversation with someone who may have a different view than your own. Give them the chance to explain their point of view and remember that we are all entitled to an opinion. We can also be there to support those that have similar views to our own as they too need to feel heard and understood.
- Volunteer: consider donating your time to local community organizations, be it a crisis hotline or a non-profit like a women’s health clinic, LGBTQ community center, women’s shelter or a community group that supports minorities.
- Give: Outside of supporting our inner circle, we can take action in meaningful way to support the organizations that are fighting the good fight to protect our rights and our environment. While you may not be compelled to support all of these organizations, it is my hope that one of these platforms is important to you regardless of your political affiliation. Even the smallest of donations will help and hey, a donation makes for a great holiday gift.
- Conservation Fund – Environmental conservation for America
- Planned Parenthood – Educates and supports men & women on reproductive health, globally
- International Refugee Association – Guides refugees through every step of the resettlement process
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund – America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice
- Trevor Project – Crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ
- Equality Federation – national alliance of state-based lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organizations
- Mexican American Legal Defense – Nation’s leading Latino rights organization
- Muslim Justice League – Educates, organizes and advocates for human and civil rights
- Earth Justice – Nation’s largest nonprofit environmental law organization
- Sierra Club – Nation’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization
- Everytown – Movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities
- National Resources Defense Council – Ensures the rights of people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities.
- Center for Reproductive Rights – works towards women’s right for reproductive health
- Anti-Defamation League – nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency, ADL fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all
- Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund – is a leading national civil rights law and policy center directed by individuals with disabilities and parents who have children with disabilities
- Get your kids involved in the conversation in a positive way. Join this amazing facebook group, Dear President Trump: Letters from Kids about Kindness, that was started by my awesome colleague, Molly Spence Sahebjami and upload a letter from your child sharing their views on the importance of treating others with kindness.
While we can’t predict the future we don’t have to sit quietly and simply let it play out. Use your voice. Use your strength. Stay loud, even when the dust settles. My America is a country in which we accept and respect one another and care for our planet, and that is worth fighting for.
The most important thing I learned from this election is that apathy is not an option. What are you doing to take action for what you believe in?