For years, I’ve been having heart attacks on a pretty regular basis. Of course, I’m not speaking about actual heart attacks, but I’ve been upset on many occasions by the state of the world, the environment and the actions of a few people with a lot of power. I spend probably a few hours a week signing petitions against this or that; or even for this or that. Things that really have integral value such as clean air and water, wars and poverty. That kind of thing.
However, as time has gone on, my stress level has skyrocketed to the point where after the election on last Tuesday I was afraid that I would have an actual heart attack. When I calmly, nicely and quietly questioned some people I know who voted for Trump, they didn’t really actually like (or even know) what he was running on, they simply liked the things that he said. When asked specifically what things it was that they liked, the response was invariably the hateful things that he said. Sadly, my experience didn’t seem to be much different from the videos and articles I’ve seen and read regarding the reasons people voted this way. The most upsetting part of this exercise in futility was in regard to the sad realization that none of the people I spoke with had a clue as to exactly what would be the out-come of a Trump presidency. They had no idea of what he was going to do – other than “build a big beautiful wall.” So, I’ve had to ask myself is this the America that I thought it was? I have to say that I had no idea that so many of my neighbors and acquaintances felt the way they do in regard to race, religion and gender.
In the end, after all the hand wringing, wondering, and intense depression, there is one question that I feel I must ask myself. What do I do, knowing what I now know? There are a lot of people, who, because they feel they have been short-changed (and I do agree, working people have been short-changed – I should know, I’m one of them), have decided to blame those who are just as powerless as they are. A large segment of our society has blamed the blameless. What about the banks that caused the 2008 financial crisis? What about the corporations whose greed has broken down much of our society? The CEO’s who have finagled ways out of paying any taxes, received many tax breaks and even receive subsidies from us, the working class, paying all our taxes (and then some). Why have they not been held accountable? Bernie Sanders, who tried to bring this knowledge to light, was right.
So, again, where do I as a person go from here? What is the way forward and how do I find it? My reaction has been the realization that I’ve got to learn how to deal with stress in a much better way. I’ve got to keep myself busy working on creating a better world around myself. I’m making a list of some of the things I can do just in my little world. Of course, I’ll keep signing petitions, writing letters to the editor and voting with my dollar. I intend to work with the marginalized (whom I feel will become even more marginalized); volunteer work is a great way to start. However, another one of my goals will be to make my own house a shelter, a peaceful place to retreat from the craziness that those of us who did indeed read the Republican Platform know is coming. Keep safe, find peace somewhere in your own lives and keep fighting the good fight. Love each other and have courage!