Find Your Way to March Forward
Feeling a blend of disappointment and guilt at not being able to participate in the 2017 Women’s March, I soon realized that I was missing the point.
Winter is tough. As a person with a chronic lung condition, being out for an extended period of time in the cold is a recipe for getting sick and getting sick is a recipe for disaster. Combine this with the stress of navigating a crowd while wielding a white cane…and, well, participating in the Women’s March wasn’t impossible, just not optimal.
For these obvious reasons, a trip to DC was totally out of the question no matter how passionately I felt about it on November 9. Even a trek to my local march in San Francisco didn’t seem prudent.
Missing the Point
But the guilt kept getting to me, particularly in the weeks leading up to the march. Was I copping out and using my health and disability as an excuse just because it would be hard? Even if I risked getting sick, at least I had health insurance; there are so many who may lose it with this new administration. On and on went my own voice in my own head.
And then, another part of me spoke up:
You’re missing the point. This march is about people like you, people who are different. And many are out there marching for you even if you can’t march.
It’s about empowering anyone and everyone to be themselves and have choices, because this is one of the greatest countries on earth, allowing all its citizens to enjoy freedom, inclusion, rights and protection.
Millions of people are marching for the values this country stands for and the very characteristic that makes “US” who we are.
Realizing the Point
With this epiphany I saw the bigger picture — it is up to each of us to find our own way to keep marching forward.
Some will participate in more marches and protests; others, like me, will write.
Some will march in the form of community service; others will become civil servants in their community.
Some will march through art they create; others will march by creating awareness about the facts.
And we all will march by being good people every minute of every day, lifting each other up in the process. Millions voted against hate and division last November. On January 21 and beyond, we all have the opportunity and privilege to keep marching.
We all have a choice in finding our own way to march forward — a way that aligns with who we are and harnesses our strengths as individuals in order to ultimately benefit the collective.
A nation’s greatness sprouts from its people and their ability to show compassion for their community and passion for progress.
Resilience, resolve and respect for others is at the core of America and who we are as Americans. Hillary Clinton championed the phrase Stronger Together for her campaign and won the popular vote. This now needs to be a mantra we chant to ourselves and to each other as we march forward for what is right, what is good and what is the United States of America.