Photo by me, taken January 27, 2014 in Ten Sleep, Wyoming- a ray of light
In the dark week since Donald Trump took office, I have been hoping to see our system of checks and balances that our forefathers set in place at America’s beginning to protect us from tyranny work to keep his un-American ideals in check. Having a republican congress intent on following suit with Donald Trump, rather than stand up to him as they had previously voiced opposition during his campaign disheartened me. How would Donald Trump be checked if the republicans in office blindly followed suit in name of party unity rather than speak out for American values? Finally, yesterday, I was given a ray of hope through the judicial system, thanks to the actions of ACLU regarding the executive order of the muslim ban (see NPR’s Story here). It is by no means a slam dunk, but it is a start and a ray of hope. Consider donating to the ACLU to help them fight against this ban in court, even a small amount. If you can’t make a financial contribution or you can, and you want to do even more, consider joining one of the many protests happening at major international airports across the country (or, start your own protest if there aren’t already protests at an airport near you). You will certainly not be alone. Yet another ray of hope was seeing this story from NPR, which shows that the American people are not standing silent as atrocities are done in our name.
One other ray of hope came yesterday regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline Executive order Trump signed. Thanks to an FERC member resigning, it may take months for the regulatory processes for many energy projects, including the DAPL, to be given the ok, giving more time for opposition to reverse the decision. See the story here. In that direction, you can consider donating to Standing Rock. Again, if money is an issue, or you wish to do more than just pay, consider writing a letter to the Department of Army’s Civil Works Division to help stop the DAPL from crossing sacred burial grounds and important water resources for the indigenous people of Standing Rock.
There are many actions that can be taken, many donations that can be made. You don’t personally have to do all of them to make a difference, but the ray of hope is coming from people like you and me, even those of us with little to give in time or finances can take a few steps toward helping causes we care about that are at risk under the new administration. If you are a long time sufferer of Anxiety, like myself, you know the best coping mechanisms are those that give you some sense of control of a situation. To those of you new to anxiety, and suffering from what my psychologist refers to as “Trump-induced anxiety”, the best coping mechanisms are still the same. Take action in whatever way you can, big or small. But also, take heart. What I said in my last post is still true; orders from Washington will take time to come to affect you in your day-to-day life. In that time, all it takes is for the people to step up, take action, and/or support others taking action to ensure that our systems of checks and balances keeps the demagogue from destroying American Values.
May this quote also bring you a ray of hope: “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”
― Edward Everett Hale
Enough rays of hope will eventually outshine the darkness of these times.
End Note: I am not particularly fond of large crowds of people, but I found the Women’s March to be particularly healing for me despite, and even because of, the large crowd. I would encourage you to reach beyond your comfort zones in these times if you are able to (for my fellow mental health sufferers, if you are in crisis mode, now is not the time to expand your boundaries, but if you are not in crisis mode, you may find these experiences to be healing and empowering – though leave yourself a plan in case it gets too much for you to handle and feel proud of the actions you take or even try to take, despite your mental illness). Here was my sign (double-sided) for the Woman’s March in Boston:
And one of my favorite signs I saw regarding the importance of stepping out of our comfort zones: