I tell people I came to America on a deluxe boat–went to Wellesley, Stanford, got a law degree, married a successful scientist. I have more privilege than most in a world that is changing rapidly and in ways that seem inconceivable. My POC friends worry that soon they will be sent to the back of the bus. Muslims fear they will have to register. Women sense that they will always be second. Some of the attacks are vicious and open, others are unconscious and subtle and just as damaging.
And so the question I pose for myself is, what next? What will be my contribution as we move forward, remembering that in history there are setbacks, but that ultimately we always move forward?
To my friends who fear they will be at the back the bus: we will be there, crammed in with you, and we will tip the bus over and march on alongside you.
To all those who fear for their religious beliefs: we will be registering with you, even though some of us at this moment have no religious home we call our own.
To all women, and the young one especially: we will fight alongside with you. We may be wounded, but we are not going to lose heart. We need to stay open, to embrace each other and, most of all, to reach out to others–and that includes those who don’t think like us, who don’t love like us, who don’t believe in what we do. We need to engage in conversations, we need to educate each other. We need to reach for understanding. Ask questions, stay open. The world is not a safe place and we do not live in a bubble. But we can make the world a better place. Love trumps hate, of that I am absolutely sure.
“When they go low, we go high,” the words of Michelle Obama resonate stronger today than ever. As all calls to action, they demand more of us than we think we are capable of. Each one of us will figure out how to contribute, what to do. We will put our hearts and souls to the service of the democracy of this country that so many have chosen as our home, that we love deeply and that we will serve in the best way we know how. We won’t be perfect, we will make mistakes, and we will stumble. But we will create a better world and we will do better for the young people who will inspire us and can lead us to places we know are full of promise. We will be stronger, together.