My Promise for the Next Four Years

My Promise for the Next Four Years

I didn’t march on Saturday. I had no excuse. The truth is, I’m pretty intimidated by that kind of situation and protest, which isn’t something I’m proud of. Instead of pushing those feelings down and joining what was a profound global movement with impressive numbers, I’m writing this blog today.

This blog won’t be any where near as inspiring or powerful as the women’s march. It won’t be as well spoken or political as some of the things I’ve read on Facebook posted from friends over the past four days. It is unlikely to make any difference in the world, and will not go as far as my monthly donation to Planned Parenthood — an organization I’ve used in the past not to facilitate my casual string of abortions after a steady stream of one night stands, but instead to get birth control while I had a gap in my insurance between jobs.

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Really, this post is nothing more than a promise and a promise is only as good as a string of alternative facts if there is no action behind it. Still, in the way that I can I publicly promise the following:

I will be vocal about the things that upset and disturb me regardless if my audience will agree. I don’t care if it’s my life-long Republican father whom I adore, or a reader I have never met. If asked or compelled to speak, I will stand up for what I think is right regardless of awkward interpersonal consequences.

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I will listen to the people who voted for our president that I fear so much. There is value in understanding why, and I will keep my opinions in a box and hear them out if they feel inclined to share.

I will be quiet on social media if someone posts their own version of a peaceful protest. So long as they are not facilitating violence or hatred, they are just as entitled to their opinion of banning SNL or whatever than I am in my sharing of countless NPR articles.

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I will commit myself to the best, unbiased news sources I can find. To me this means NPR, BBC World News and (mostly) the New York Times. I will not share articles from super left leaning sites such as Vox, even if I may like or agree with what they are reporting.

I will listen and never dismiss the feelings of someone who feels unsafe during this administration. I will not downplay your fear. I will support you in the best way I can, even if all I can do is be a sympathetic ear.

© Emily McDowell Studio

I will live by the golden rule. Though I am not super religious these days, I was raised Episcopalian (you know, those crazy “Catholic Lights” who drink a lot and ordained the first Gay Bishop) and grew up in the church. I’m no theologian, but what I know about Christianity — and really, all religion — is that it stems from love. Love your neighbor. Be kind to one another. Treat others like you would like to be treated.

In my religion, there is no room for hatred. Love does not have conditions. Respect is not dependent on the color of one’s skin. Finding happiness and support within the world is not conditional on the gender of the person you love.

© Emily McDowell Studio

Let me say this once and let me say it with care — I do not expect you to agree with me on many issues. I do not ask you to change your opinions of heaven or hell, of right or wrong but I insist you move forward with love in your heart for your fellow Americans. All of your fellow Americans. No matter where we end up on the spectrum of opinions, if we support and respect one another we can only succeed.

20 thoughts on “My Promise for the Next Four Years

  1. “I will or downplay your fear.” I love this. It’s what I’m working on personally. My beliefs juxtaposed against another’s fears. Complicated.

  2. Bravo for you. You are a far better person than I – I have absolutely nothing in common anymore with someone who voted for that man, and zero intention of listening to them. They don’t think I’m a human being; I will not dignify them with my attention.

  3. Word. I’m not going to let people I know get away without critical thinking and compassion, and I expect my friends to do the same for me!

  4. Just an FYI, the NYT is very far from unbiased (they lean considerably left, as a lot of publications do). That being said, I wish more people thought like this.

  5. If there is anything to be taken from this crazy election and new world of social media and soundbite culture, its that written words matter.
    Speaking your mind matters,
    and people will react to it whether it’s thoughtful (or true) or not.

    Thank you for continuing to contribute a thoughtful voice. We need them!

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