What Can We Do?

This is as close as I'll get to a political post, probably ever.

A couple facts (not the alternative kind)...

I'm heartbroken and enraged by the things happening in my country and frightening the people I love. 

I'm terrified by the Orwellian cast to the first month of 2017. 

I feel REALLYFUCKINGMOTIVATED to do something. My deep beliefs about how people should be treated, spoken to and helped is being slapped in the face by the powerful elite and I'm grappling with a lot of anger around it.

but

I feel helpless. I feel completely at a loss for how to help the struggling humans that matter the most to me. I am so SO privileged and shielded from so much of what is happening, so I spent some time this weekend thinking about what I *can* do.

If you want some ideas of what YOU can do to make a difference...feel free to steal a few of these:

1. Donate. Give money, time or whatever resources you can to people who have larger-scale influence. (The following is my short list...but regardless of your views, I encourage you to choose to support loving organizations rather than buying into hateful speech.)

International Rescue Committee : Providing aid to and speaking out for refugees from Aleppo, Syria and more. Babies and moms and dads are SUFFERING and need basic survival needs met... and this is about the only way I can think to help.

Planned Parenthood: This is an amazing network of providers offering healthcare options to women who wouldn't otherwise have access to birth control or preventative care. I am so grateful for the care I received there when I was unable to afford health insurance.

NPR: Good old-fashioned journalism (and, quite frankly, delightful podcasts.) I've been a sustaining member for a while now.

ACLU: Fighting for equal/constitutional rights for ALL humans

2. Don't be a wimp. Speak out in defense of the defenseless. Speak up when you see others being hurt... and not just on Facebook. This applies to the current political environment, your gym, your office and your family. (caveat: I said "don't be a wimp," not "be an asshole." Be kind in a way that challenges cruelty and makes your world better.)

3. Reach out to the scared, affected populations in your circle of influence. Call, text or email the person you know that must be really scared and just tell them you're available and you love them. I can't imagine what it feels like to have my language, my gender or my skin tone devalued in the mass media...but I know what it feels like to feel scared. Connect with your humans at that level.

4. Be compassionate with everyone (including the ___ supporter)...and don't forget to start with yourself. Hate has its roots deeply in the belief that we are isolated and separated from each other. Don't give in to that.

5. Pray for/Meditate on/Envision a world where all life is respected... and act accordingly.

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Have more ideas on how to effect change or simply show up in a world that's pretty scary? Leave them in the comments below. (note: asshole comments will be deleted and assholes will receive compassion... right after I get over my annoyance.)