It wasn’t a single post or an Instagram photo that set me off, but I was off. After hours of aimless scrolling, I sat feeling a twinge of sadness. Sadness that somehow my life wasn’t 100 percent like the other lives I saw while swiping through social media, and a sadness that I had given into the throngs of fake reality enough to make myself feel bad.
So, I spent the next 48 hours with no social media, no mindless scrolling, more time with my own thoughts.
That was 48 hours before the inauguration of DJT. Reality hit hard the morning of January 20th. Yet, somehow everything I was seeing felt like a joke. Everything I was feeling – from hatred to anger and grief to hope and courage for the future – provided a stark contrast to the faux realisms that made up social media. What I was feeling was the truth. It was genuine. Fear, optimism, dread, faith. I couldn’t ignore the intensity with which I feeling these things, and that was the juxtaposition to the world inside my screen that I needed.
I attended the Women’s March on Ithaca the next day. I marched for equality and not just for women’s rights, for human rights. Women’s rights are human rights. I marched for separation of church and state. Yes, I do believe in a higher power, God, the Universe, Buddha, call it what you will, but I do not support the imposition that extraneous usage of the word “God” within political speeches creates. I rallied for marginalized people’s voices that have been buried. Overall, I marched, I rallied, I stood, I stand for peace. I stand for peace because that is exactly what the new leader of this country doesn’t create. He is unrest. Peace is justice.
The bottom line is; the real world is happening around us as we scroll through our iDevices. Scrolling through Twitter, I found a picture of the president signing an order that would severely decrease access to family planning and abortion. Abortion is something that only women, who have uteruses, have to deal with, correct?
He was surrounded by a group of white men.
In the real world, people have sex. Women included. That shouldn’t be shocking. Women are people, too. When people have sex, people need access to contraception unless the goal here is to have as many new little people running around this small planet floating in space. And realistically, that is just not sustainable. Our sweet mother Earth isn’t meant to hold 7 billion and counting, it’s meant to thrive and prosper and that isn’t possible with TENS of BILLIONS of people on its surface.
We need to not only think about our now (the economy, our nation divided, immigration, refugees) but also our future. Moments are fleeting. So philosophically, everything right now will be gone in a moment. Metaphorically, this means everything we do today affects tomorrow. Truthfully, our new president is 70. He won’t be around to see that tomorrow when everything not protected today is ruined. It will be his youngest son and his children who have to live on a cramped, weakened planet.
With strength, optimism and reality checks, you can do something everyday to help stand against the bitterness that is this new administration.