“We can change the world and make it a better place. The difference is in your hands.”
– Nelson Mandela
Following the election results on Tuesday was a rollercoaster ride for most Americans, myself included. Those who wanted to see Donald Trump defeated writhed in agony, while the victors reveled in knowing that their voice had been heard.
This is democracy. In most elections, there will always be one side devastated by loss. We have always been a nation of strong and often polarized opinions. It was less than two hundred years ago that we fought a not-so-civil war, killing over one million of our fellow citizens. We have made it through devastating wars, a Great Depression, and countless trials and tribulations.
We live in one of the world’s shining democracies, made even more so by November 8th’s showing that an outsider can upset the status quo- whether some of us like it or not. If you weren’t satisfied with the election, don’t say you are ashamed to be an American- do something about it.
There are so many ways to make America, the world, and your life shine outside of national elections. Volunteer at a non-profit, become an activist for a cause you believe in, turn your feelings into action to make your life and community what you want it to be. Lose those pounds you’ve wanted to get rid of, eat healthier, drink less, quite smoking- embody the idea that change comes from within.
“You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.
And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
is not easily done.
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?”
– Dr. Seuss ‘Oh the Places You’ll Go’
There’s a road ahead. Down one road is eating comfort food and reading on social media how much everyone you know is devastated by the election, or seeing others gloat about victory. Down the other road is taking a long walk, going for a run, cooking a new healthy recipe from scratch, or looking up ways to volunteer to help others. Which road you take is up to you from here. I hope that you choose the second road, but if you take the first, just remember, that other road is waiting patiently for you.