Words are my bread and butter. Some people might think it’s a sign of intelligence–others probably just think I just like to hear (or read) myself talk, and that I got lucky enough to get paid to do it. Either way, I am grateful that I’ve been given a voice in a world where so many people struggle to be heard. Today though, of all days, I just want to stay silent.
As I write this, I am surrounded by other writers, some of whom have also been tasked to recount last night’s events. No one seems to know what to say. We have sat in silence. We have hugged. We have shed tears. But, no matter the outcome of yesterday’s election, it’s business as usual. We have to keep going.
I thought of all of the ways I could frame this piece: Yes, Canada is Awesome. Come on Over!, Here’s a List of Canadian Immigration Phone Numbers Since the Site Crashed, So You Voted Trump Into Presidency, Now What?, 29 Reasons Why America Will Not be Great Again Under Trump, etc. However, I really do think that America CAN be great with Donald Trump at the helm–just not because of him, but in spite of him.
It was hard to wake up to the reality of today. The reality that we still have so much to go in our fight for equality–and that we may not have come as far as we thought. That was a hard pill to swallow, as I’m sure most of today’s news is going to be. Instead of being negative, let’s focus on the changes that still need to be made in society. Instead of being negative, let’s remember that there is still a huge community of people out there who want to fight for equality and human rights. Instead of being negative, let’s remain hopeful for the next four years. Let’s look to the person who had been a beacon of that hope for over a year, Hillary Clinton.
“Every moment wasted looking back, keeps us from moving forward… In this world and the world of tomorrow, we must go forward together or not at all.”
“Take criticism seriously, but not personally. If there is truth or merit in the criticism, try to learn from it. Otherwise, let it roll right off you.”
“Always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in. And, when you stumble, keep faith. And, when you’re knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can’t or shouldn’t go on.”
“Probably my worst quality is that I get very passionate about what I think is right.”
“We need to understand that there is no formula for how women should lead their lives. That is why we must respect the choices that each woman makes for herself and her family. Every woman deserves the chance to realize her God-given potential.”
“What we have to do… is to find a way to celebrate our diversity and debate our differences without fracturing our communities.”
“It is past time for women to take their rightful place, side by side with men, in the rooms where the fates of peoples, where their children’s and grandchildren’s fates, are decided.”
“Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights. Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely–and the right to be heard.”
“I challenge assumptions about women. I do make some people uncomfortable, which I’m well aware of, but that’s just part of coming to grips with what I believe is still one of the most important pieces of unfinished business in human history — empowering women to be able to stand up for themselves.”
“The worst thing that can happen in a democracy–as well as in an individual’s life–is to become cynical about the future and lose hope.”
And a bonus quote and pick-me-up from Michelle Obama:
“When they go low, we go high.”