Sunday, January 22, 2017

Signs of Hope

Today I feel more hopeful than I have in over a year of watching the American beliefs I have held dear since my college days – over fifty years ago – denigrated. 

Those beliefs of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all law-abiding Americans, regardless of our differences, have been overshadowed by a warped and dark vision of our newly elected president who has misread the values of the people he says he now represents.

What brought about this lift in my downward spiral of the recent past? A dear friend and I joined 10,000 equally frustrated women and men, in a peaceful, post-inaugural rally meant to re-inform our new President’s outlook that isolates our country and separates its people. We were surprised to run into PTO mothers we hadn't seen since our adult children's school days board the train to Hartford along with us. "What's going on?" asked the train conductor as she took our tickets, surprised at the cluster of passengers that had just boarded at the very small stop. After telling her about the rally she said,"That's cool!" and flashed us a great big smile. She also made an effort to wish us well when we got off the train in Hartford.

We soon assembled at the Hartford State Capitol building in solidarity with the same-day Woman’s March on Washington D.C. Little did I expect this state and national turnout of like-minded peoples to multiply to over 670 demonstrations, one million-strong, at peaceful demonstrations across America and throughout the world.  Through Facebook posts I learned my brother and his children marched in Boston. Students I had taught at a local high school posted from the D.C. march.

On the Hartford Capitol grounds  I was surrounded by signs that expressed the peoples’ deepest feelings: fruits of their imagination, not sour grapes.  I did not see the name of ANY political party on any placard. My own sign simply expressed why I, a senior citizen, chose to attend : IN SUPPORT OF MY DAUGHTER, GRANDDAUGHTER, AND STUDENTS' HUMAN RIGHTS. 

Another Connecticut woman who stood near me held a sign that listed many of my beliefs:
              • LOVE IS LOVE.        
These pretty much sum up the eight Unity Principles of the national Women's March movement in an effort to "stand together in solidarity for protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families - recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country."

I want to give a shout out  to one of the many men supporting the women in their lives who displayed this thought in his signage : MEN OF QUALITY DON'T FEAR EQUALITY!

Yes, I'm feeling better today, thanks to the enormous strength of the voices I joined with yesterday. Yet, my friend and I returned home realizing how these are mere signs of hope in the grand march for human rights our nation must continue through the next four years. We can start with a call to the Washington DC Capitol building in support of these inalienable human rights. (202)224-3121. Even better, we can follow the plan of action through the next 100 days sanctioned by the Women's March organizers which can be found here. Their first action calls for each of us to write a postcard to our Senators about what matters to us most. Their site even offers us cards to download.

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