On this, the anniversary of the first Women’s March on Washington, I have so much to share with you, and not much time to share it. Most importantly: Life isn’t fair.
One of the few positive things to come out of the trump election is, we’re recognizing each other’s suffering. We’re listening and asking questions. We’re discovering and exposing the causes of suffering. And we’re banding together to fight those causes of suffering, to change ourselves, our state, our nation, and our world.
Life isn’t fair. Every hour of every day, we receive verbal abuse from Donald Trump. He threatens our air, our water, our food. He robs us of our sleep. He threatens the security of our bodies, our jobs, our money, our morals, our families, and our health. He divides us from our friends, our families, and our lovers. By forcing these fundamental concerns on us, he forces us to look at ourselves and ask:
What is it we value? What is it we will stand up and fight for?
Truth, number one. Fight for the truth. In his one year in office, Trump has told us 2,140 documented lies. Google “2000 lies”: The Washington Post has a graphic you can use to get more enraged at the abusive treatment the president heaps upon us every day.
Can we please ask a favor?
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Lies destroy us. They destroy our communities, they destroy our trust, they destroy our faith in our ability to make informed decisions about how to protect ourselves.
Seek the truth. Fight for the truth. Speak the truth. Don’t settle for what the Abuser in Chief, the Pathological Liar in Chief, the Sexual Assaulter in Chief tells you. Seek the truth.
Fight for Safety, number two. Safety doesn’t come from deporting our neighbors, or building a wall, or banning a religion. Safety doesn’t come from forcing womb-men to gestate and birth children they cannot survive, do not want, and cannot afford. Safety doesn’t come from telling people they can’t have wedding cakes, or use the bathroom, or be who they are. Safety doesn’t come from denigrating and insulting dictators who aim nuclear weapons at us. Safety doesn’t come from ignoring genocide, or calling the survivors of sexual assault “liars,” or murdering brown and black children and adults. No. We don’t get safety by rejecting and endangering and destroying our neighbors.
Safety comes when we accept, understand, and embrace others. Safety comes when we know: who are you? What are you suffering through? How can we elevate and aid and comfort the ones of us suffering the most? Not, “How can we hurt,” but “How can we help?” Safety comes from compassion, from listening, and from action. Fight for compassion. Listen. Act. Then listen again. Find the true ways to safety.
Number three, fight for Dignity. See me as a person. A human. See yourselves as people. As humans. We are created equal, we remain equal ‘til the day we die, and then, we’re still equal. In the United States of America, we have the right – the right! – to pursue happiness. And we have the responsibility to help each other pursue that happiness, and not stand in each other’s way. No one’s happy making less pay for equal work. No one’s happy when their speech is interrupted, or their ideas are ignored, or their hard work is credited to someone else, or they go years without a raise. No one is happy doing two, three, four jobs to make ends meet, while watching the CEOs of the companies they work for build their second, third, or fourth mansions. That’s not right. It’s unfair, unjust, and undignified.
You and I and everyone at every Women’s March, and everyone who couldn’t be at a Women’s March today, we have the power to bring the dignity back to all the people. Register to vote. Vote in the primaries and vote in the elections. Take your neighbors to the polls. Run for office. Help someone else campaign for office. Knock doors, write letters, make phone calls, testify before your State Legislators, testify before Congress, testify in your churches, testify in your parks, testify at your conferences. Testify, testify, testify. Use your voice and your brain and your skills and your money to get the truth out there. Testify. Change this world.
Life isn’t fair. But, before I was born, on August 16th, 1967, the wise Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke this truth: “Let us realize that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Let us bend it. Let our actions bend our daily experience, our hourly experience towards justice for all. Let our actions inspire others to act and bend with us. Let us find our people, join with them, collaborate with them. Let us become the people we need to be, to bend and mold and shape our lives, until and beyond the day when we can say,
“Life isn’t fair. But it is more fair, since I came along.”