I am a reluctant activist. Not because I lack passion or belief of the issues at hand, but because I am an introvert and have spent my life avoiding confrontation whenever possible. Protesting and speaking up seems like, well, confrontation. But now… now, I’m left with no other choice. I cannot sit quietly and seethe. I cannot complain to the people in my house but take it no further. I cannot agree with so many in our Country and remain silent. I’m called to add my voice to the growing concentration of Americans because passivity is no longer an option. Do you hear me? Passivity is no longer an option.
I have struggled with where to start. There are so many issues to discuss, dismantle, scream about, or find clarification. I still cannot fathom how the decision-making process of so many American’s lead them to elect Donald J. Trump as our 45th President. I understand that most Americans had to choose between the lesser of two evils instead of voting for a candidate they support. I did. For some, DJT was that lesser choice, but they had to look past such a hefty list of issues to make that choice. The loving, kind, “Christian” nation that we claim to be is contradictory to that very hefty list. I can’t make it balance.
Then came January 20, 2017, inauguration day. Again, my mind had a hard time coming to terms with the events of that day. Everything seemed so surreal. Was this really happening? Was this man who had no experience and was clearly being guided by those filled with hate really being confirmed to our highest office? I didn’t understand. I still don’t. I’ve heard the reasons and arguments, and listened to opposing points of view, but still can’t make sense of it. No experience. No experience! I can’t seem to say it enough. No experience and fueling hate across a nation. It was real. It was somber. Even those who support him weren’t joyous. It wasn’t a celebration. The air around National Mall was dark, sad, somber. In those early moments, I suspect many of them realized what they had done. Perhaps the somber was regret beginning to sink in. I hear people say “it’s on them now,” but that’s not true. It’s on all of us. Not one of us is exempt from the ramifications to come.
I traveled eight hours each way to get to Washington DC to be a part of this historic weekend. My intent wasn’t to attend the inauguration, though I was in the area. I was there to raise my voice the following day at the Women’s March on Washington. And raise my voice I did. As exuberant, welcoming and inclusive as the crowd was, it was still a struggle for me. Crowds don’t inspire me, they drain me. The energy was amazing. The sense of peace was awe-inspiring. The magnitude of the crowd was overwhelming. I slept for several hours once I returned to my home for the weekend. Now that I’ve had time to reflect on the experience, I know that I can’t NOT attend every protest and event possible from here on, but I must find a way to balance it with taking care of the quiet side of me. (If you’re looking for suggestions, I don’t have any yet.)
This brings me back to where I started. I am a reluctant activist, but an activist. I am an introvert, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a voice. It means that I’m not always loud, but now must always be outspoken. I wake up every day now and think:
Passivity is no longer an option.