Friday, November 11, 2016

Grief and action

Preface: This post comes from a particular political point of view. If you don't share it then I invite you to remember a time when you felt lost and disenfranchised. A time when you grieved and then acted.


Well, that was some election, wasn't it.

We all live in bubbles. You would think with the increasing role of technology and social media in our lives, we would have broader perspectives, but many of us don't. I certainly fall into this category though I'd rather believe not.

Right now, many of us are in a state of shock over the election. I've heard over and over in the last 48 hours, how could that happen? We didn't expect it because we live in bubbles. And now many of us are in a state of deep grief.

We are grieving. That feeling in the pit of your stomach, that hole that feels like it will never be filled? Yeah, that's grief. I'm aware that my posture is the same as it was in the weeks following Kevin's death. This grief is legitimate, it's a shock to the system, it's a realization that the world is not what we thought it was because we live in bubbles. All of this is normal and human.

I'm not interested in the political conversation here, I'm doing that elsewhere and loudly. I am organizing and building and working and will continue to do so. What interests me in this post, is how we can work through this grief towards action. For some of us, this will be a very difficult four years. I will lose my health insurance and I'm one of the lucky ones. People I care about will have their marriages challenged. Other people will likely be killed in hate crimes. The environment will be devastated (I will miss polar bears). I could list more but it's stuff we all know.

We need to find our way out of the bubble so maybe we hear some of those who screamed so loudly we got Trump, hear them enough tha tthey no longer feel isolated and can realize he is a danger not a savior, so the other becomes us.

We need some time to grieve. Grief can consume you. We can choose to wear black and cry for the rest of our lives, we can allow our rights to be stripped away, we can be propeled into climate disaster and war, or we can be like the people who founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving and use our grief to fuel action.

Be sad. Fight like hell. Listen to others and find a way through. Grief can fuel powerful things.

p.s. If you're interested I've written about grief and the election elsewhere, here and here.  

(c)2016 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

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