31 December 2017

Fumbling for Words

Have you ever simultaneously had the breath knocked out of you and the pain of the world knocked into you? That somewhat explains what happened to me last November. Despite the leaps of progress for women after centuries of denial of opportunities, and after getting to a breaking point with many tragic humanitarian issues in the country, a huge portion of the U.S. decided they didn't care about other people. One person really hurt me by saying, "It's not like someone died," but to me, it felt like an expansive death sentence or at the very least a huge, selfish, "We utterly don't care about you" directed at millions of people that would result in harmful policy and ongoing discrimination and tragedy. I didn't just feel my own pain; I felt the weight of widespread devastation. And what can one say when they can't breathe and they've been told their voice doesn't matter?

I'm amazed that despite the heavy burden of constant terrible news over the last year, many people have been able to process quickly and get enough breath to raise strong voices in opposition. I'm just now starting to feel like I can feel around in the dark for my voice, but only because I've been guiltily using my privilege to mute a lot of the constant influx of bad news. All I've been able to do for the last year is focus my energy on building a program that empowers people who have even fewer privileges under the current administration. It's so, so hard, but I care so, so much about this important cause.

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