Well guys, this is kind of a tricky one. Full disclosure: I came so close to just sitting this one out. My mind has been filled with so many thoughts since the election but for once, I feel at a loss for words. I’m always pretty comfortable on my soap box, voicing my thoughts in this safe space that is my blog, but not so much when it comes to the true weight of the world. I like to talk about clothes, cocktails, beauty products, and motherhood, but when it comes to politics and current events, I usually run for the hills.
I have to admit I’m the type of person that only dabbles in reading the news and I never choose to put on CNN over a favorite show. I’m fine getting the bullet points and then forming my opinion based on only a portion of the information. That’s not to say I don’t feel strongly about certain issues, but I’ve never felt eloquent when discussing them. Ever since I can remember, politics just haven’t been my thing. Frankly, it tends to stress me out to think of all the evil and complexities in the wold and I’d rather focus on what I can do to be happy on a day to day basis. But as I’ve gotten older and became a mother, I have started to become more aware of how these events effect me and everyone around me (or far away from me) and it’s hard to continue to remain a spectator.
This is not a topic I normally would include here because even though there’s something satisfying about the idea of airing it all out whether or not I might lose some followers, the truth is there are so many different acceptable view points, and everyone has a different life and story. I’d hate to get all high and mighty on my opinion, and then unintentionally alienate someone who disagrees with me for their own respectable reasons, because that’s not cool. And while we’re all here for inspiration on how to style our lives, we might also be different in some ways too. And that’s OK. But at the same time, some things that are front and center in the world right now are not OK.
Being a parent adds a whole new level of challenge when it comes to the right and wrong. How do we protect our little ones from the bad stuff out there and explain why things are the way they are? And the more weighty question : how to we teach them to be people who will stand up for what’s right and have a thick skin against the things that are not? The truth is that I have no idea. Sailor is still so young, just barely understanding how to communicate at the most basic level. Just as she is learning, I am learning too, how to guide her to the next stage. As she grows, I grow. But this past year I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how I can contribute to society both myself and for Sailor.
While it might seem like we take steps backward, I try to remember that the world our children are being brought up in is a different world from the one we were born into. Yes, we have such a long way to go. But culture is already more accepting and progressive, whether some people like it or not. Discrimination is unfortunately alive, in more places than we might think, but I wouldn’t say it’s well. It’s taboo. It’s appalling, even if it does exist. We’ve come so far, and as much as some may want to push us back, the truth is that you really can’t stop progress. Our children wont allow it.
As a parent of a wee one, what I’m getting ready to do first and foremost is teach Sailor the key virtues that will make her a loving, accepting member of society. It’s Sailor and all the other one-year-olds out there who will eventually be making all the decisions, and that fact brings me comfort in this confusing time. Because I know my generation and the generations below me won’t stand for fear or hatefulness.
It all comes back to the most basic lessons: Be kind to everyone. You are not better than anyone and no one is better than you. There will be no hate or fear of entire religions, races, classes, sexual orientations, or humans in general in our household. No self righteousness. Only support and understanding for all different people and backgrounds. This is the single most important action I feel I can take as a parent. I took on the responsibility of raising a human, and the best thing I can do is be a good example for her while she looks to me for guidance. This is a role I am still getting used to, but I have to figure it out.
Here’s the even more uncomfortable part. I am also making a pledge to become a person who takes direct action by speaking up (eek!) on issues that are important to me, and donating to every good cause I can. This part is difficult for me because admittedly I don’t feel like a leader when it comes to taking action in my community. I’m learning. Secretly, I’m looking forward to reading my fellow moms’ posts on this topic so I can get some ideas from ladies who are more well equipped and experienced in being activists. I also loved this post from The Man Repeller about different actions to take post-election. It’s easy to SAY “call your representative” or “donate to good causes” but don’t you agree that it starts to sound like noise? Sometimes we need more guidance on how exactly to do that, and I love how they laid it out.
I feel like we are entering a time where making your voice heard and putting your money where your mouth is takes on a whole new meaning. I read the other day that donations to charitable organizations have sky rocketed since the election. This brings me comfort. We can actually do a LOT for our country, even when we feel helpless, confused, and uncertain about our future. Perhaps what they say is true that alone we can make a difference, but together we can conquer the world.
Be sure to read my fellow moms’ posts on this topic to get ideas on how we can contribute to building a brighter future: