Last week, tears. Today, the sun.
The earth revolves around it. It is the source of life on this planet. Everything that exists on earth is here because of the sun. It is literally the most important thing in our universe.
Last week we elected a president who believes he is the sun. And we apparently agreed with him. Whether we cheered him, mocked him, vilified him, or taunted him on Twitter, we made him the center of the entire presidential campaign — and now our universe.
Well I’m done with that. I will not allow a racist, misogynist, hate-driven man to become the shining center of my universe.
I am going to choose my own sun.
I’m a writer. I hold the power of the pen and I intend to use it. Not to attack him. No, because that makes him the sun. In fact, his name will never grace these pages.
Instead, I’m going to use the strength of my words to create the change I wish to see.
My voice on this blog is small, but there are large organizations doing positive things that I support. I will find a way to add my voice to theirs. And I will find ways to amplify voices that are smaller than mine — the ones that are routinely ignored, hushed, or dismissed as irrelevant.
Support and solutions will become my sun.
And when you are ready, I hope that you’ll find your sun. It won’t be hard. Just start here:
Whatever you already do in the world, up your game.
Take the passion, talent, tools, resources, money and intelligence you already have and apply them 10-fold to making the world right. In other words, keep doing what you do best, just harder and with more focus where it counts.
Somewhere in the United States today a teacher is helping an immigrant student cope with fear; a librarian is standing firm for the right to know; an attorney is sharing legal resources on civil rights and self-protection; a coffee-lover is quitting Starbucks for a locally-owned cafe; a dad is talking to his teenage son about rape culture; a social worker is helping an elderly couple navigate the insurance system; a police officer is learning how to deescalate threats of violence; a football player is helping targeted minorities cross campus safely; and a grandfather is washing hate graffiti off a park bench.
We all have something we can add. We are not powerless.
On days when you don’t feel like you’re making a difference, when you feel like your voice is small, boost an organization whose voice is big. Pay for real journalism. Support organizations that are fighting for marginalized people. Write to your congressperson. Vote with your feet.
And every time you find yourself angry, sad, and hating that man for what he and his people are doing, it’s ok. You are entitled. But remember, he is not your sun. Someone else has the job of watching him, holding him accountable to the law, investigating and prosecuting him if necessary.
This frees you to turn your back on him, face the problems in our country, and center your life on solutions.
And here is the thing: Once you take your focus off of him (and by extension, the election, political parties, “us and them”) and really start looking at the social issues we face, you may find yourself looking in the mirror with a more critical eye. Change begins within.
I am done crying. It’s time to get to work.