This is what I told our children on Wednesday morning:
Last night, more states voted for Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton, so he won. I am sad and scared that Donald Trump won because of the fear tactics and hate he has spread throughout his campaign. But I’m not scared for our family. We’re white, rich (in relative terms), Dada and I are already married with good jobs, and we’re Christians. We will be fine. I’m scared for our friends and neighbors and people across the country who don’t look like us, who don’t believe the things we believe, who love differently than we do, who might have a disability. This election did not go the way I wanted it to go, and I’m scared for the people who have been bullied by Trump and his supporters throughout this election cycle. But he is going to be president, and we are going to hope for the best. We don’t have to agree with everything he says or does to agree with some of it, and the same goes for those who voted for him. We are also going to have to go out of our way to show kindness and love to people who look or believe differently than we do, and we’re going to stick up for them. Dada and I are going to talk about how we are going to love our neighbors better in the midst of this, but it is on us, always, but especially now, to go the extra mile for the people who look or believe differently than we do.
Yesterday, I moped around, read too much on social media, and cried a bit (not because my candidate lost; because I’m sad and hurting about the stories like these and these and this coming out of the woodwork due to the shelter of a Trump victory). Then, I woke today and started my “resistance list” – the things I’m going to do or quit doing or do more of as a way of resisting the hate that it feels like this election season has unleashed. But I’m thinking of resistance differently after this must-listen episode of On Being. Martin says:
And that’s when I started to deconstruct the narratives I was holding onto, and the ideas I had about what successful rebellion looked like, right? Like I wanted to do the march, and have the war stop. I wanted to canvas for the president I wanted to win, and I wanted him to win, like I had this very transactional relationship with the idea of rebellion.
And so, part of what I understood through that — that emotional low was that I needed to reorient myself. Have a totally different relationship with rebellion that would last me a lifetime. And was honoring of the lifetimes of rebellion that have come before me that — here I thought I was just going to like graduate and head out into the world, and like, be super-efficient. I’m a little suspicious of efficiency, in part, because I crave it so much, and I think that that’s a very generational thing. It’s like we’re really obsessed with efficiency. And emotions aren’t efficient. And I think rebellion in many way isn’t efficient. And never will be.
I challenge you to make your own resistance list. Even if you’re not torn up about the results, even if you’re content with the results, you can’t be happy about the divisive state of our country on November 9th. I’m just writing down ideas to discuss with Grant and the kids. I’m obviously not going to be able to do all or even most of them, but I feel better getting the ideas down:
- Plant more food. Give it away.
- Take walks in our neighborhood. Get to know our place. Learn the names of the trees, as well as our neighbors.
- Build one of these for our front yard. Then build more and give them away.
- Join a community garden (here’s one if you’re local!).
- Ask more questions.
- Practice listening, especially with those with whom I disagree.
- Learn something new.
- Get involved with a local refugee or immigrant group and/or donate to an organization supporting them in your community. Here’s one I love that a friend started.
- Teach someone to cook or garden.
- Meditate. Practice mindfulness. Be fully present.
- Preserve the season’s harvest, then give it away.
- Use real plates, real napkins, real silverware.
- Skip the chains and buy local.
- Hang out at the library.
- Complain less.
- Try something new.
- Buy second-hand.
- Make a new friend who thinks differently than I do. Ask them, “tell me more about what it’s like to be you.”
- Read more poetry. Especially together. Especially with children.
- Cook more soup. Give it away.
- Call the local Boys and Girls club, YMCA and/or the school down the street to see if there are ways we can help.
- Buy someone’s dinner when we’re out.
- Practice contentedness.
- Support art. My plan is to buy or renew subscriptions to several magazines from across the political and religious spectrum.
- Plant more trees and give money to organizations that do.
- Find and frequent a local bookstore.
- Get more involved in local politics. I’m not sure what that looks like, but I plan to do my research.
- Make something instead of buying it.
- Turn off the screens and read an old novel instead.
- Buy local and free-trade Christmas and birthday gifts.
- Invite someone new over for dinner.
- Start something new.
- Wake up early for the sunrise.
- Sing louder.
- Catch sunsets.
- Find a local organization that helps people with disabilities and see how we could help.
- Bake cookies with the kids. Give some away.
- Read more history.
- Take the Sabbath seriously.
- Create something, preferably with others.
- Go to church.
- Take the dog on a walk.
- Host a party for no reason at all. Host lots of parties for no reason at all.
- Be authentic and vulnerable with those who have earned it.
- Offer to watch someone else’s kids.
- Visit a nursing home.
- Have more dance parties.
- Play with our chickens (or your pets or your kids or in the leaves). Just play.
Add your own!