Activist, Who Me?


 

Activist = campaigner, protester, objector, militant, advocate; forward looking, advanced, innovative, ahead of its time, avant-garde

On Facebook this week I received an invitation to join #Pantsuitnation (more info here). Although I’d heard about it prior to election day and knew it was meant as a visual way to support the first woman candidate for President and her particular fashion style; I assumed it would have gone by the wayside after election day. Clearly it has not, so I did some homework.

Activist movements have almost always been initiated because one person  wanted to start small to meet a need for themselves and a few others in their circle. Then, word gets out; and, as the commercial for a popular shampoo goes…”they told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on…” A flicker of an idea turns into flames! Clearly #Pantsuitnation has caught fire, with chapters popping up in every state!

Now that the votes are in, it appears that the focus of this grassroots effort is now a place for women who are concerned (worried, fearful, angry, called to action) about the impact the election’s outcome will have on us, as well as many other marginalized groups in this country, to join forces. It’s a place to come together to share concerns and ideas; to organize. Not to organize against the election’s outcome per se (though many will do that), but to move forward in a way that ensures members or our citizenry who are the most at risk of suffering the potential consequences of this election, will either not suffer or suffer less.

There’s an organizing meeting tomorrow, I may go check it out. Is this the route for me to somehow impact my immediate world I live in a meaningful, long-lasting way? I’ve often considered myself to be a better “behind the scenes” type, not the public face of anything. Maybe in #Pantsuitnation there’s a way for me to do that, to help to strengthen local leadership opportunities and networks for women.

Today, I am grateful for the women who lead the way for me to be where I am today; to be in a position where I can publicly even consider joining a group like #Pantsuitnation.

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Now What?


Throughout this entire, long, drawn-out, nasty campaign for the Presidency of the United States I have kept opinions to myself. I would not engage in ANY political discussions with anyone: family, friend, coworker or stranger in line at the grocery store. I even kept my mouth shut watching the third presidential debate with my husband beside me on the couch, knowing we were each biting our individual tongues so as not to insult each other — you could say our political leanings differ.

My belief has always been that the decisions we make in the voting booths are ours to use as we see fit. We all do our homework, or not, on the issues and candidates from local, to state, to federal levels of government and then cast our votes accordingly. And although we may do the intellectual homework, I believe when it comes down to the actual flipping of the lever or filling in the bubble sheet, we actually vote from an emotional perspective including those who say they “vote for the most qualified candidates regardless of party affiliation.” It’s all emotional.

We have beliefs and thoughts we hold dear to our hearts, grounded in our life experiences, good, bad or otherwise. The day before the election I re-posted the meme below, and although this morning I am having a tremendously difficult time not being despondent, I’ve decided to revive my daily gratitude blog. My hope is that by acknowledging the day-to-day things for which I am grateful, I will find my way through the next four years with grace, understanding and respect for beliefs, decisions, and opinions that are different that my own.

My “thank you” today is for this platform on which I can share my words and hope that readers will find what they need here.

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