On Standing Up…And Choosing Hope

I’m going to honest- yesterday was tough. I am typically not a political person, but I have been shaken to my core and feel called to do something to stand up for what I believe in. I can’t sit on the sidelines this time around- there is too much at stake for so many. It goes far beyond a Republican/ Democratic issue; I have lived under Republican presidents many years during my lifetime- I have no problem with that. I may not have agreed with their policies, but never before have I felt such dread in my heart- nor have I seen this country that I love so bitterly divided with no relief in sight. Instead of the words of unity and peace that we desperately needed, yesterday  brought yet more arrogant words of exclusion and division. There have already been promises to completely cut the National Endowments of the Arts and Humanities, and within minutes of his taking office, Climate Change, Disabilities  and LGBT Rights in the Workplace were removed from the White House website. Many other sweeping changes have been promised that will rock the lives of countless Americans in ways we can’t yet comprehend. I am a very positive person, but right now I find myself feeling the beginnings of hopelessness. However, I am going to do my absolute best to hold onto the lifeline of hope that is hard wired into my heart and soul. 

I have thought a lot about what I can do to stand up for those marginalized by society, for the environment, for core beliefs of equality and compassion. I am not a wealthy woman- in the monetary sense at least. I still can give, though; I can give my time to causes. I can give love and compassion to my students and make sure they know that they are safe with me no matter who they are, who they love, or how they worship. I can reach out to my neighbors, listen to differing ideas and work to understand viewpoints contrary to my own. I can educate myself on the issues and vote my conscience, become involved at the local and state levels of government. And today I will attend the Women’s March here in Birmingham to stand in solidarity with millions of other women across the country. 

It has come time for even the most quiet and meek among us to stand up for what we believe in- peacefully, courageously, and with no apology. We stand on the shoulders of countless fellow Americans who gave their blood, sweat, tears, and sometimes their lives to effect change for the betterment of society. Society is all of us- not just a chosen few. It is people who look like us and those that do not. People who think like us and those who are diametrically opposed. People who live, love, and worship in countless differing ways. That diversity is what makes us strong and resilient; losing it is unimaginable to me. 

Democracy is a rocky road filled with bumpy spots and detours, but it is always worth fighting for. I want to be a part of helping us – all of us- to move forward. I hope and pray that our new President learns and grows, looking out for and finding compassion for every American. Instead of taking away rights, I hope he will defend those inalienable rights for each and every one of us. Instead of preaching hatred and division, I hope that he will do the difficult and messy work of bringing us together. We may be a wonderful patchwork quilt of humanity, but ultimately we are all Americans wanting what what is best for our country. 

On this day, my heart is heavy but hopeful. I choose hope, but I will also stand up for the rights that have been hard-won by those who came before me. I will stand up for my family and friends, my students and colleagues, for my fellow citizens and for the environment. I can’t just sit back and hope that things will be okay- that’s not how a healthy democracy works. Mom always said that things worth having were worth fighting for; my voice may be quiet, but joined with others the song of hope and freedom can never be silenced. 



20 thoughts on “On Standing Up…And Choosing Hope

  1. It is so strange to read your blog today when you have always been so focused on your music, home and family. Those of us lving outside the USA wish you all the best in standing up for all the citizens of America.. “The whole world is watching “.

    1. Thank you so much for your good thoughts. I usually refrain from writing about political issues because I never want anyone to feel offended by what I write. However, this time is different- a great many of us are truly afraid of the direction this man will take us. I will peacefully protest in anyway that I can. I do hope the world continues to watch and hold us all accountable. We are better than what we elected into office.
      Thanks again for your message- I always appreciate having you read my blog.

  2. I have never seen such division in America. Maybe I was young when some of the worst moments were going on. When some presidents in our country were elected that I didn’t vote for, I remember crying in the grocery store because I had heard some legislation was sure to be passed that hurt families and took away parents’ rights. Which turned out to be true, within the month of January. I wrote my senator letters when legislation was pending that affected me. I worked with a girl embracing homosexuality and encouraged her to talk to the visiting Congressman at our workplace to voice her concerns a few years back, although I’ve seen harm close up when a gay family member left the spouse behind in a divorce court.
    Hillary Clinton pledged to come against fanatical religious people who were so bent against pro-choice when she got elected. I read it buried down the list of news items on Yahoo! I am totally against abortion, America is up to over 53 million pre-born children dead for the rights of women. What about all those girls and boys? Would I have ended up in prison in America if she had gotten in? I don’t go to protests over abortion but I do support alternatives to abortion.
    It’s my humble opinion that people all over America need to sit down with people of differing viewpoints and get to know one another and stop demonizing each other. What a mess.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Constance. You are so right- somehow we have to see each other as fellow Americans who have differing viewpoints and beliefs instead of as enemies. Instead of ‘sides’, I hope we can see ourselves as one connected group of humans- humans who all have rights to those differing viewpoints and beliefs. Once you get to know someone and really listen to them, it is so much easier to be open and understanding, even if you don’t agree with them. Here’s to open dialogue and respect, the keys to healing our deepening wounds.

  3. So much emotion expressed in these words. I “hope” that President Trump will be a great leader, and I hate seeing our country so divided. This division could start our next civil war. I hope everyone thinks long and hard about what tomorrow could look like. I’ve had many presidents I sure didn’t want in office but I accepted them. Why? Because this is my country and the natural course of politics put them in office. The same holds true with Trump. This process may not make “all” the people happy, “all” the time, but is it worth this much anger and hostility by so many? These are the questions I ask myself. United we stand, divided we fall. I’m still for a united, United States.

    I love all people and I don’t want any to suffer -but suffer we do and will throughout our lifetimes. Only more suffering will come with this division among our peoples.

    I am certainly not suggesting that anyone should not stand up for what they believe in, but we must remain respectful and honorable to our country -and that is to all the people of our great continent. This division, this hatred for our president is scary.

    However, you are always being honorable by standing up for your beliefs and the rights of people you stand behind, as is everyone. I only wish we could remain peaceful and not allow hate to fill so many hearts.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I, too, hope that we can move from anger and hatred and work together toward solutions. The division is frightening. I feel no hatred toward anyone- love is always the answer. I will stand up peacefully and respectfully for what I believe in, and send every hope that we can somehow find common ground.

      1. I am confident you will, its those that won’t be peaceful that frighten me. If we are to fight against one another, let it be done in love and peace.

  4. Wow, once again, poetry with which I resonate, and with which I heartily agree. I am grateful to have found your blog…it is indeed a blessing to me. I have been going through some pages from “Daily Affirmations” from past years. I have found so many gems of wisdom in these, which I have sensed for all these years, but had forgotten the exact words by the author. May I offer this from a May, 1998 calendar by Louise Hay… these words come to mind now as many of us try to share in the experience and expectations to make this world a better place: “I hear the cry of love in everyone’s message, and I see the longing for love in everyone’s behavior. I rejoice in my ability to see and hear”. -Louise Hay, May 14, 1998

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