How To Feel Useful After The Electionfeatured

It’s still unclear, while the dust settles, exactly what we can do to continue bring about the world we want after the U.S. election. But here is a video I made of the actions we can take while we figure it out. Some of the points are summarized below.

Not party political: First off, let me say that mine is not the reaction of a knee-jerk liberal. I care most about three issues: climate and environment, race justice and ending consumerism. Trump has made it clear he does not stand with me on these issues. Whatever party he was in, I would be writing posts like this one (and this one “Ten Ways I’m Coping Since I Woke Up To A Trump Presidency“).

Put up with ambiguity: Many of us are ping-ponging between two stories: “Everything will be fine” and “The end of the world is here.” The thing about both those stories is that they let us off the hook. If everything is fine or everything is irredeemable, we don’t have to have to do anything. Don’t let yourself use those stories as cop outs. Put up with the ambiguity and…

Decide you are going to help someone worse off than you: In the program Alcoholics Anonymous, people stay sober by helping other people stay sober. In a Trump presidency, people will thrive by helping other people to thrive. To feel better and less scared, find a person or a community that is suffering more than you and help them. In some cities, people are volunteering to commute with people who feel at risk of hate crimes.

Educate yourself: So much that I care about is under fire. Even the privatization of education and Medicare is on the table at the moment. Read about what is going on so you know how you want to help.

Believe you matter: Because we can’t stand the ambiguity and the not knowing, we tell ourselves our actions don’t matter. That just serves to put us back to sleep. Wake up! It is true that we are all small pieces. But we are small pieces that matter.

Find an organization working on your issue (immigration, climate, education etc) and offer support: Many of these organizations are scrambling. They need us. Feel free to add links to orgs you care about in the comments.

Watch for actions that arise: Sign up for the email lists of 350.org, the ACLU, immigrant advocacy organizations, education advocacy orgs. They will keep you up to date on actions that will arise.

Join the Million Woman March: There will be a march in Washington, DC the day after inauguration day. Details are here. Meanwhile, join the marches in your local area.

Be active at the city and state levels: Many cities are already declaring that they will protect immigrants (article here). Gather groups of friends and go and visit your city councilors and state representatives to let them know what you care about.

If you want to read more, read this: “Ten Ways I’m Coping Since I Woke Up To A Trump Presidency.”

 

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