Friday, February 17, 2017

Power to the People!

I have never been interested in politics. I have never researched candidates, looked up my local representatives, watched debates, discussed policy with friends. But the last 18 months have changed that.

I feel like I have been awakened to just how much I should be interested. Because of course this election cycle has been unlike any other and we have all been impacted by it in ways we never have before.

But I am also finding myself awakened to the incredible power and strength individuals have once they organize and act together.

Like everyone else, I have been watching the news and reading articles and bemoaning the state of affairs. But I also quickly tired of the fact that all I was doing, really, was observing. And I knew I could do more.

A couple weeks ago, W and I went to the airport to protest the immigration ban. It was an exhilarating experience to do something tangible with all the frustration we felt. I have since then been calling my representatives and that feels like a solid step as well. We have donated money and that too is a concrete, positive action.

But I still knew that the kids are seeing Taher and I discuss what is happening (and we do take the time to explain things to the kids- at their level, of course, but truthfully)- but they aren't really seeing us do anything about it. Seeing me call my Congressman or donate money has an impact, but could we make more of one?

Today was the National Strike, so we decided to take the kids out of school for the day and take them downtown to join the peaceful rally happening there. To show them what it looks like when people exercise their right to protest in a positive way. To hear the speeches. To feel the energy.

To be inspired.

We heard one man take a megaphone and make a speech calling for violence as the only way to take back our rights, and that speech disturbed everyone. But we sat them down a little distance away and explained to them what was wrong with that speech. And why that is certainly not the way we think about things. And then we walked back over and heard some speeches that were uplifting and kind and inspiring, because they were about helping each other.

About lifting each other up and protecting each other.

And both kids heard that message loud and clear. They are receptive to that because it's what they hear from us every day.

After a couple more (positive and lovely!) speeches, we headed home.

They were tired, but I feel that we accomplished something here. They know that observing is only part of the equation when it comes to all of this. We can do something too.

In fact, we can do quite a lot.

Power to the people! And Alhamdolillah!