Ever not quite know what to say?
That's where I'm at. Two weeks in and just, wow. Keep calling, emailing, faxing. It takes 3.5% (for America that's 11MM people) of a population to peacefully change a gov't. We got this... right? I mean, 65,844,954 voted for Hillary, so... right? I mean, even I'm calling and emailing (my reps have publicly stated that they count emails and voice mails both in their tallies, and especially if we have a couple sentence story about how something personally affects us, they prefer email).
Sometimes I include music to listen to - well Lin-Manuel Miranda (creator of Hamilton) created a soundtrack for us all on Spotify which is what I'm listening to right now.
So what have I been thinking about this week? Besides the creeping orange horror, various things! Have spent quite a bit of time this week chewing over the last paragraph from this article in Scientific American: How to convince someone when facts fail.
From my experience, 1. keep emotions out of the exchange, 2. discuss, don't attack (no ad hominem and no ad Hitlerum), 3. listen carefully and try to articulate the other position accurately, 4. show respect, 5. acknowledge that you understand why someone might hold that opinion, and 6. try to show how changing facts does not necessarily mean changing worldviews.
That's a lot of things to remember in the middle of what's likely to be a pretty opinionated conversation, but well worth at least trying to remember in the moment. I feel like the only one I have fairly well down is #2. I tend to shut down hard and fast in conflict conversations when I have to carry the weight of the conversation. I am much better able to contribute productively and time to plan what I can usefully interject when I have a supporting role. The more you know...
I've also been thinking about the final point in this article (Autocracy: Rules for Survival) is "Remember the future." As I think about all the different things to fight against, none of them less than the next, I get overwhelmed. Increasingly, my only hope is to fight for the future I want to live in, the future I want you to live in with me, the future I want my children to live in. Which of course will look a lot like fighting against a lot of things. It's important though to keep a clear vision in our minds off the future we are trying to move towards. When we fight only against the thing we don't want, the only vision we hold clearly in our mind is the thing we don't want. It's far more effective to hold the vision of, and try to move toward, the thing you want.
And then the other thing that I'm going to tell you about here is the National Parks Service. What does they say on Tumblr? Ah yes, here it is -
First they came for the scientists…
And then other accounts followed. Like Mr. Rogers always said,
And the National Parks Services said, “lol, no” and went rogue and we were all like “I was not expecting the park rangers to lead the resistance, none of the dystopian novels I read prepared me for this but cool.” - scarlettohairdye
"My mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world."
There are a lot of really alarming things going on right now. And honestly, there have been a lot of alarming things going on forever, but in the midst of it all, looking for the helpers, look for the people who are doing the right, compassionate, things... they are out there. And we have the opportunity too, to be the helpers. Look for those opportunities too.
Until next week -
With love, resistance, and curiosity,
PS: I still have some bookplates for sale! You can buy them from the linked images below!