On Election Day morning (yesterday, as I write this), I walked through a crisp, sunny NYC, with a skip in my step. We were voting in the first woman President!!
A homeless man on my street, pushing his shopping cart past me, shouted out and showed me his Hillary t-shirt with a big smile. On the subway platform, I spontaneously sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in four-part harmony with three older black men when they wrapped up their busking on the train. I asked Mai, the woman with the flower stand on Hudson Street, and popped in to ask Jenny, who studied for her US citizenship while running her nail salon, if they were voting. Yes! they said. I didn’t think I needed to ask for who, and as Chinese immigrants with children, I assumed it was Hillary.
And then last night happened. I had about ten friends over, to eat homemade vegetable soup, watch the returns, and cheer our candidate with champagne. My friends left around 2 a.m.; the champagne bottles are still in my fridge.
As a woman, I’m devastated. As an environmentalist, I’m devastated. As a compassionate human, I’m devastated. I can’t imagine what it’s like today for my gay friends (we not only got Trump, but also Pence), and my friends of color.
For a while now, I have been seeking a way to have a positive impact on this world. Every day I struggle to find the strength to trust that I can, and to figure out how to use my specific gifts to do it. To surmount the negative beliefs that I have about myself, ingrained so long ago, that freeze me up. I’m a few months away from finishing a Certificate Program in Environmental Sustainability at Columbia University, and from somehow translating my learnings into helping to make the future sustainable for the 7.4 billion living, breathing people on this planet. I now feel even more . . . hopeless? Crippled? I can’t find the right word, but I don’t have enough tissues to catch my tears.
Hillary and Bill wore mourning colors for her concession speech this morning. Today I cry. And through my tears, I will try to embrace what Hillary quoted in her speech:
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
I vow to make the personal mission I stated up above into my main priority. I hope you will encourage me on the days that I think I can’t.
By the way, this blog is part of that mission. One way you can support me is simply to follow it, which you can do below. Also, comments are always welcome. Meanwhile I leave you for today with this spartan but incredibly moving (at least for me) video from the American Natural History Museum, reminding us of the very big picture: