2.20.2017

Action 2/10.



I'm trying to join along with the organizers of the Women's March and complete their action items every 10 days or so. I feel like it gives me a bit of purpose in a very intense time. Plus it's better than just sitting back and quietly watching the country fall apart. Their second action item was to join a local meet up and have conversations with people in your area about how you envision the country in 4 years (free healthcare, cleaner air, equal rights for everyone, no one needs to be afraid, safe schools,  etc.), then to talk about how we get there (voting at mid-term elections, supporting free and fair press, donating money to organizations, etc.) -- next we talked about upcoming action opportunities and we formed teams and discussed where we go from there. As a pretty big introvert, the idea of going alone to some church in another town, at night, all by myself is just totally uncharacteristic of me. But I went and I was glad I did.

These were my takeaways:

It's okay to unplug. I was starting to feel guilty about not being up to date on every single atrocity this administration "accomplished" each day. I don't have a job where I can be online all day or at a computer reading/watching the news a lot. I was finding that when I'm done with work, on my way home, I was frantically trying to catch up on all that was going on and ashamed when someone brought something up that I hadn't heard about. But I learned that it's okay that I don't know everything. The more you know and watch and read, the more this administration becomes normal. Things become expected and less outrageous. Just more of the same. I don't want that. By unplugging every once in a while and not having everything front and center 100% of the time -- this nonsense stays ridiculous and that's a good thing. I don't want to become normalized to this administration. 

When you get informed, be informed about both sides. This is a hard one for me. I lean very liberal and I read the NYT and the Washington Post and listen to NPR. But I'm a good listener so I'm going to try to listen to the other side too. It's not like it will change my opinions but it'll be helpful to know what conservatives are hearing and believing. I always want to try to read more neutral news sources so I'm going to add in the Associated Press. It's supposed to neutral. The group recommended Fox News... but I just can't.
Ask questions. Obviously, there's fake news and you need to look up what you read. But this takeaway actually has to do with conversing with people on the other side. I find that when I'm talking to someone who doesn't agree with me I tend to be defensive (and typically, I end in tears or so frustrated that I don't even want to continue talking). Most of my sentences start with "ok, but..." and go on to completely disagree with the person. I learned that doesn't achieve much. It's more beneficial to respond by asking a question -- "what campaign promises do you feel he has kept?" for example, rather than yelling "ya, but those campaign promises were racist and discriminating and illegal and..." and that way the person you're speaking to really has to do some self-reflection on their part.

We also talked about various marches we want to show-up for, the calls to be made and postcards to be written and different sub-groups that want to be formed. So the work is not over. I think it's a positive thing that the Women's March moment is being given the opportunity to become a movement. 

1 comment:

  1. I've been trying to read things from the other side too but because I also lean very liberal it isn't easy. And yes, Fox News ... just can't! Can't believe how many people eat up the stuff from Fox News.

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