My Facebook feed is filled with images of protestors who have rallied against our new President: who have rallied for women’s rights, gay rights, environmental protection, and every other platform that people fear will be threatened by the new administration.
I have mixed feelings about these protests for a variety of reasons. But one thing is for certain. Ours is a country that allows us all the freedom to voice our concerns and opinions. There is a tremendous amount of fear in this country right now. It’s palpable. It is what has driven people out in droves–in the hundreds of thousands–to protest and ask that their voices be heard.
There is a part of my brain that says: just wait. We don’t know anything yet. I am not a protestor. I am waiting, watching, hoping, listening.
The response from others is: yes but this is what he has stated in the campaign, this is the cabinet he’s forming, the writing is on the wall. Everything he stands for, we don’t believe in so we will stand up and say so.
I have spent a great deal of time looking at fear, thinking about it, ditching it, embracing it, deciding that it is foolish…. So what is to be made of this fear that has created thousands of protestors? Can fear create something constructive? Is this constructive? Or does it drive a wedge even deeper between the sides in this country? Maybe both?
But one thing I see here is that the voices of these protestors are a comfort to each other. And they are just that–voices. They are reaching across the nation, holding each other close, and saying, “don’t be afraid. We are here too. We are all here. You are not alone.” And that’s a beautiful thing. What can we do in the darkness but try to shed some light? For most of us, besides voting, there is nothing else to be done.
So yes, perhaps in this case fear has created something beautiful. Perhaps fear has been the thing to help squash itself. Fear created all those voices gathering together to say: Don’t be afraid, and you are not alone.
And that’s a lovely thought to me.