This week so many of us are still dealing with the shocking news of Trump's victory in the US. This has not been a usual election race for the US, with Republican, vs Democrat. Instead this year there was a candidate that embodied some of the worst in humanity - racism, sexism, xenophobia, islamaphobia, homophobia and openly bragged about sexually assaulting women. Despite all this people still voted for him, and not just a minority, nearly half of those that voted!
Some people said that they didn't vote for him because of this, but because they were angry at the system. If wanting to give the middle finger to the system is more important to you than the safety and dignity of your fellow human beings, then you need to seriously reexamine your moral compass. In the few short days since the election, there have been numerous reports of racist vandalism, attacks on Muslim women and non white people. Women have been subject to threats and sexual assaults from men who say that if the president can grab women inappropriately, then so can they.
This goes to show that the words those in power speak are not just rhetoric. They have very real effects on people and their lives. The words we all speak have power and can be used to lift others up, or bring fear and pain to others. Some listen to those in power who deal in the currency of fear and division and go beyond words even to physically attack and terrorize others.
It is easy during this time to despair. I certainly felt despair and powerlessness after the first couple of days. I don't live in the US, so have no say in the process politically. Yet none of us can escape the effects of this event, as we are all tied together in this world. If I could cut the border off to the south and float away I certainly would. But even if we were able to do this, it will not change the reality of those who are being impacted by this event. I would still worry that these white supremacist attitudes will spread here as well.
So I asked myself what can I do? I was looking for a little angelic guidance, so I pulled a card from the Karma Angels deck and got Masahiah. Masasiah is the angel of harmony and happiness. He/she encourages us to
look to the things that bring us joy and that spread harmony in the
world. Here is a list of a few things I thought of that I can do.
1. Focus on the positive. This does not mean putting our head in the sand. What it does mean is that we look for the goodness in the world and amplify that. Let's start by remembering that the popular vote did not go to Trump. Most people in the US are as shocked and saddened as those of us in the rest of the world. Take comfort that we are not alone. Lets pray and send loving energy and thoughts to each other. Let us use positive words, be kind and encourage each other during this time. Even a small acts of kindness go a long way to making the world a better place.
2. Stay United. Remember that you are not alone. Connect with like-minded people. Surround yourself with those who are positive and kind, and who have the same values. Retreating into isolation out of despair will only serve to embolden those who pander in fear. Remember there is power in numbers.
3. Stand up. There is an excellent campaign started in Britain after the Brexit vote, as there was an increase in hate crimes. Its the simple act of wearing a
safety pin. Wearing it means you are saying "you are safe with me" and
that you will stand up of you see harassment occurring. If you see someone harassing someone else, say something, even if it means just talking to the victim so that the attacker loses power. Videotape or record the event when you can and report it to authorities. Stay with the victim until they can get somewhere safe.
4. Get involved. Volunteer for a cause you care about, and/or donate money towards it. There are many great organizations like the ACLU (in the US), local food banks, shelters, and environmental groups. Show up at protests, and call and email your representatives. The least you can do is vote for a candidate that represents your values. If you don't get out and vote, someone you don't like could easily get into power.
5. Make Art. Art is healing, not just for the maker, but also for the viewers as well. So make art, write, make music, dance etc. It doesn't have to be fancy high art either. In New York a man set up a table with sticky notes and pens and people wrote messages of love and support, and posted them on the subway wall for others to see. Art is a great way to come together, and to express how we feel and let each other know we are not alone. It can motivate and empower. Don't underestimate it.
Are there any other things you can think of that we can spread love and light into the world.