Many Americans are disappointed with the outcome of last week’s US presidential election. People are weeping; maybe you've shed tears. In some places, people have taken to the streets in protest, and a few of those protests have turned violent. Many leaders and citizens of foreign countries are uneasy, as the outcome was not what they had expected and the sands may be shifting. It might seem as if the world has gone crazy.
In a recent video, Edward Snowden said, “If we want to have a better world, we can’t hope for an Obama, and we should not fear a Donald Trump. Rather, we should build it ourselves.” In the context of the statement, Snowden was referring to Obama’s campaign promise (later broken) to end mass surveillance. Many people think Snowden is a traitor. Maybe you’re among those people. Even if you think Snowden ought to be executed, put that thought aside for a moment and listen to the message. It’s powerful.
If you are disappointed with the results of the recent election, don’t give away your power to politicians or anyone else. A free and just society is in the hands of everyone. You are not a victim, and you have a chance to act now.
Here are some things you can do immediately:
- Don’t catastrophize. When something bad or unexpected happens, it’s easy to assume the worst. I myself am an expert at imagining everything that could possibly go wrong in a given situation. Avoid lapsing into all-or-nothing thinking.
- Look for opportunities. As Tony Robbins would say, ask yourself, “What is good about this problem?” If you think hard enough, you can find that every problem presents an opportunity: for learning, reflection, or action.
- Set your priorities. Write down the 2-3 issues that are most important to you and consider which suggestions from this list will help support you in addressing those issues.
- Write to Congress. Do you know who your Senators and Representatives are? Email them, call them, write to them. Find out when you can meet them. It doesn’t matter if you voted for them or if they represent your party. While you’re at it, pen a letter to President-elect Trump and tell him what issues are important to you. Campaign promises are notorious for being broken, so even if your national or local candidate won, it’s not a bad idea to keep in touch with him or her or her about the issues you care about. This election outcome could really drive civic engagement, if we make the effort to speak up.
- Volunteer your time or skills to an organization that supports a cause that is important to you. If you don’t have time, donate money.
- Consider getting involved in politics at the local level. What can you do in your local community to effect change?
- Talk to the other side. More than ever, we need to keep the lines of communication open. Don’t unfriend people on Facebook; open a discussion with them. Communications experts at Vital Smarts provide some great tips on how to initiate a conversation.
- Work on your own vibration. Don’t get stuck in a negative spin about an outcome that you didn’t expect or want. Focus on increasing your own vibration and then take one or more of the above actions. Or come up with some other ideas.
The world has gone through a massive shift in the last week. If we take a deep breath, however, we can see that there are tremendous opportunities for change, within us and in the world around us.
What things can YOU do to build a better world starting right now? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
© Katharine Spehar, 2017-2018.
Photo credit: www.goodfreephotos.com