know you are part of the solution
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I still don’t have anything for you to eat. Or rather, I do, but I feel a little bit ridiculous just sliding back into offering you things to eat, all la di dah. I have a nice post about things to eat all polished up and ready to launch, in fact, but just at this moment, it feels to me as if the dining room is on fire. I know there is a good deal to be said for not letting normal be taken from you, but just at this moment, it has. There is also a lot to be said for acknowledging that.

A number of people, on the radio and the internet and in print, as well as thoughtful and reasonable friends who’ve drafted cogent emails, are talking about why and how our system, with its checks and balances, or the political dynamic, with the majority party mostly hostile to its leader-elect, will rein in t’s ability to make drastic changes. This may be true. It may not be. We’ll soon see.

Some point to mid-term elections and the inevitable pendulum swing that will possibly be palpable by then, and certainly will be palpable in four years.

All of this is interesting, but not substantively helpful. What with the flames and all.

Elsewhere, people are saying things like, boo-hoo, you lost an election. Buck up.

It would be an understatement to say that I feel like all of these people are missing a big point, which is that we face—all of us, whomever we voted for, or didn’t vote for, or protest-voted for—a period of time in which the darkest, basest emotions are given freedom to be acted upon.

We are 24 hours in, my friends. Scan through this. I’ll wait here while you do.

There are a lot of links in this post.  But please do not skip that one above.

This is a challenging, dangerous time. Tolerance and kindness and compassion are not political any more than they are optional. They are cellular, fundamental and inalienable aspects of being human. Every one begins as a baby, under a heart. Everyone is held and fed. All hell may break loose in a life at some point thereafter, but we are primarily engineered to connect, because survival depends on it.

One day in and it is already demonstrably more dangerous to be black or brown or anything other than white, to be female or to appear as anything outside of the tiny little box arbitarily labeled “permissible.”

I see one glimmer of light in the darkness. For the first time in a long time, complacency has been universally shattered and millions of people are paying close attention to what the government is doing–if not for them, then in their name. Now that we know what it takes to make that happen, please, let’s not lose this national opportunity to stay focused and to hold elected representatives accountable.

Learn to stay in touch with your elected officials. Pay close attention to how they are voting and what they are saying.

Listen to young people. Listen to old people. Listen to people you don’t agree with. Ignoring people who don’t share our goggles hasn’t panned out very well. Let’s stop doing it. Aim to really understand who and what you perceive to be ‘on the other side’ from you.

And please, let’s throw our support heartily behind people already postitioned to watch closely, to provide safety, to act quickly.Will you stand with me to #makeyourpresentsfelt? Spoiler alert: if you usually get a holiday gift from me, it will come this year in the form of support for people working to shore up what I hold dear.

On that note, do you know of organizations making a difference on the ground for tolerance, accountability, rights, and safety? For the environment? Please leave a note in the comments. Go local, go national, go international–the impact is going to be felt everywhere.

Do you have a reliable source for news? Tell me about it.

Do you have a source you look to for centering, calm and comfort?  We all need them.  Please share yours.

We can make our own noise, and we can let it be known what we stand for, and whom we stand behind, and what we stand against. Let’s not let hate be the loudest noise coming from this country.

Then we can get a little something to eat, for strength and comfort.

We’re going to need it.




    • janet says

      Thank you for reading, Erik! C’mon, you must have some links up your sleeve. Who’s on your A-list of warriors for good?

  1. Still reeling from the link. But it’s better to see through a wide aperture and then be able to act in opposition. Thanks for the array of options in that regard and your always beautiful writing.

    • janet says

      The scale of what’s to come is so daunting. It’s so hard to find places to connect without hatred or anger when you see that kind of thing, but like you say we have to bear witness. And act, but not from anger. These are demanding times. xo

  2. Marcia Walsh says

    This actually gives me a sliver of hope to hold in my hand and nurture for support of what I believe in. I will be doing more of it. xo

  3. L Najimy says

    Thank you for offering something I can digest without triggering a panic attack. Honest, aware, real, and hold-onto-able. I am saving this as reference when fear and anxiety come calling.

    • janet says

      Very glad to be of service in this way. Fear and anxiety are no solution, I keep reminding myself, but they do keep calling.

  4. Noelle says

    I woke up this morning and first thought was ‘oh god, no, it’s still true’. Second thought was, ‘oh, no, you don’t get to live in my head, scare me senseless and steal my joy’. Strangest times indeed, but as you so rightly say Janet, reach out, act up and have an open heart and mind to those whom we disagree with. I would add ‘plant more trees’, literally and figuratively.

    • janet says

      Seems to get truer and truer. Not a static thing, which would be bad enough. Any favorite literal or figurative tree-planting warriors that you support?

    • janet says

      Yes! Thank you, Lynne. The muscles have to be flexed at every level. That’s where it happened and that’s where it will change.

  5. The ACLU for guarding civil liberties.
    Probably the Environmental Defense Fund too.
    Absolutely working at the local level for state representative and congress people – those elections are in less than two years – work on flipping some seats.

  6. Corie says

    Love your brain. Love your strength of conviction. Love your willingness to stand up to this. Love you.

  7. Peter and Patricia Elsbach says

    History, judging from the beginning of human records, repeats itself without
    evolution of learning. The connecting and sharing of people like you must reach
    weightier proportions in our world. Is it in the cards? So far as we know, we have tried for some 5 millennia, the concepts and incentives have been and and are there now. We wish to join!

  8. Bruce McCarter says

    Righteous! I think we all need to step up and increase our support of environmental and social justice organizations, and participate actively, both locally and nationally. Family, friends, community, and also self care. The best way to counter helplessness is to be active in taking care of ourselves and others. Love to you and your family.

  9. Jesse Shapiro here writing from Mercy Corps. Thank you so much for including us in your list of organizations making a difference on the ground for tolerance, accountability, rights, and safety. We are honored and moved.

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