Why I marched?
There was a lot of name calling in 2016. Deplorables, Nasty Woman, Elitists – the list goes on. No group owns hate, in the same way no group owns love. I find this hopeful. Anyone can embrace love. I embrace love over anger and hate (and it isn’t always easy). I feel better approaching people with love. I learn more approaching people with love. Instead of calling someone a name, I ask questions, “What is most important to you? What most influenced your decision to vote for this person?” For many, family and children are the most important thing. People are making what they believe to be the best decision for their family and children. Maybe I made a different decision, but doesn’t make me right and them wrong. It means we are Americans who have different points of view.
Marching for Love
I headed to DC to march in the name of love. Turns out a lot of people embrace love. For many though, love is not the prevailing approach, and it’s scary to publicly embrace love. Love hasn’t been as loud as hate. When I marched on Saturday, I carried around a 6’x6’ sign that featured a hand signing “I love you”. I told people what it meant and received hugs and heard “thank you” often. I marched so people knew love is an option. It’s easy to forget because calling someone a name is easy, but engaging in conversation is not. Try love on, it might surprise you.
Marching for us all
Intersectional. The march aimed to be inclusive of all social identities. Looking around the march you saw people showing up for reproductive rights, immigrants, and LGBTQIA. I heard anti-Trump chants – often. Shouts of “This is What Democracy Looks Like”. People broke out in “This Land is Your Land”. It’s hard to not feel empowered when you literally have 200,000 people standing behind you. At first I was worried the messages for women’s rights would be lost. Now, I believe we kicked off a journey for lots of important issues. Many of the people who showed up were finally being heard. I feel honored to have been witness to this transformation. People were finding their voice, a voice that may have been silenced for years. January 21 was just the beginning, so join in where it feels right.
Marching with Friends
It’s not surprising a march of nearly half a million people included friends. Scrolling through Facebook I learned I marched with friends from 3rd Grade, from college, from the town I grew up in. Most of them I never saw. But I felt the energy. In the days since the march, it’s power has only grown. To know how many people from my life participated in Saturday’s activities is powerful. We are all connected on a deeper level – in our beliefs. Consider how many people in your life showed up, it will likely surprise you.
Marching for the Future
This was my first march. I thought I would show up and 20 minutes in I would be a changed woman. I would leave the march and write to my senator. That’s not what happened. I showed up to the march and felt squished, and confused – What are we all doing here? But then people broke out in song. I asked people who they marched for and was surprised at the complexity of their answers – see Harness Magazine’s Snapchat. I saw strangers hugging each other. I saw a child waving a flag she made that said “I Love my Family”. That was it. I was marching for what comes next and what I haven’t even seen yet. I marched for hope that things will and can change. I marched because love does transform, but takes time. Seeds were planted on Saturday, let’s nurture them and see what they grow into.