The Day That Hope Was Restored

The past four years have felt extremely dark at times, this year being the darkest of them all.

I was extremely excited for Tuesday. I know many of us were. Tuesday felt like a day that held just as much importance as a personal milestone or a favorite holiday. But when the day did not yield immediate results, as our culture has become accustomed to in all facets of life, it became one more day of fear. One more day we had to wait. And then another. And another.

I’m embarrassed to say that even after countless hours watching MSNBC last week, when the news officially broke on Saturday morning I was giving myself a mental break from election coverage. Instead I was watching the Great British Baking Show – not the most exciting “where were you” moment, but oh well.

When I remember this past Saturday, I will remember watching Kamala Harris’ acceptance speech. While I thought I had already experienced the flood of feelings, of relief, joy, and excitement for the future, when I watched Vice President Elect Harris take the stage, I broke. I wept with joy and with pride to see a woman, representing us all. A woman who represents women of color and of Asian and Indian descent. May she be the first of many to bring diversity to our government, ushering in change and showing young people everywhere that this is a possibility for them, too. When I cried I felt the relief, the weight lifting off all of our shoulders, the realization that we can move forward now. It is a day I will always remember.

The light at the end of the tunnel is so much brighter and finally within our reach. There is hope that we will see progress in our country again. This weekend marked not only the return of progression, but also the return of respect – respect for humanity and diversity. We no longer have to tolerate a president who is tearing us apart and tearing us away from the rest of the world. Hate is not acceptable, and it is not welcome here. May we come together and fix what has been broken. May we look to our two new leaders and the fellow leaders they will choose, to guide us, to break glass ceilings that restrain us, and to help us better relate to one another as Americans.

Hope And Strength

“I am concerned…but I am hopeful…and I am strong.”

…We’re all thinking about it. Election 2016…So I will do my best to lightly touch on the topics of the past week. I am just here to say what is on my mind and potentially on the minds of others.

{I am concerned.} As a liberal, a woman, an artist, and a supporter and friend of all races, nationalities, and sexual orientations, I worry what is next for the diversity of America. When and why did the idea arise that we need to selectively “take back” this country? America is alive and well! We all want America to be great, but why “again”? When did the greatness halt? Why is our consensual faith in America waning? There will always be laws and policies that require adjustment and adaptation, but it is impractical to expect all Americans to conform to a narrow minded set of ideals. That is not why we live in this country. Our differences are what make us so beautifully unique.

{…But I am hopeful}…my hope is scant (one week out), but without hope we will not get through this difficult time. I strongly believe that this change we are experiencing will push us to be proactive and to speak up for our beliefs and rights. Volunteer. Discuss. Be informed. Peacefully protest. The future of our democracy stands before us. The progress that has been made on behalf of many in this country, stands on the precipice of destruction. If we fade into the background post-election, we cannot hope to protect our liberties.

{And I am strong.} Hope must walk hand and hand with strength. While a hopeful outlook is crucial, it is an empty wish without strength and momentum. This will not be an easy time, but we must spark the change we wish to see and be ready to respond. We are the people. We are the popular vote. We are unique, capable, hopeful, and fierce.

Be ready. Harness your hope, find your strength.