We have had a lot of thoughts racing through our foggy minds post- Women's March on Washington. Based on the e-mails and texts we've been getting, you likely do too (whether or not you attended a similar event around the world).
More than anything, attending the Women's March on Washington coincided perfectly with the kickoff of this new phase of our NVR life – doing more of what we really want to be doing in life, being even more vocal about what we believe in, supporting the marginalized, etc.
This is really a post about power that can apply to any part of your life. It's about what can happen if you feel strongly about something and put action behind your thoughts.
Here's our take on a few things #WomensMarch:
1) The vibe was fantastic – peaceful, joyful, determined, kind, loving.
2) Some of the logistics were a little rough. For starters, we had no cell service. I mean, if you can't share with the world IN THE MOMENT, did it really happen?!?! Seriously, though, it was a bit scary at times. There were moments during which we felt a bit trapped, unable to move (with no cell service with which to make a final, desperate call for help!). Sidenote: We were those idiots who said to our friends: "We'll meet up with you down at the March!" Ridiculous.
3) #2 (which a lot of attendees were feeling) makes #1 truly remarkable. The disabled and elderly – in particular – were huge troopers. And, when anyone needed to get through the crowd (food, bathroom, air), others were incredibly kind and gracious about it. Group hug.
4) And on that love-thy-neighbor note, let's just put the most boring imaginable reassertion of #3 right here at #4.... People were passing out, etc. with, um, let's just say a certain degree of frequency. The procedure for getting these people help – even getting them to a medical tent – was far better than you could ever imagine. Again, thanks to #1. When someone was in need, everyone nearby rallied for them to get the necessary assistance. Warm fuzzies.
5) We're still waiting for a final count, but we do know that attendance numbers were huge (did Donald Trump ruin that word forever?). This explains #2 (and we now forgive organizers for #2) and makes #1 even more unbelievable than it already is.
And now it's time for a good laugh...
6) Um, so there was no March on Washington. You can untwist your confused facial expression now. There was no real marching due to #5. The attendance was so significant that people pretty much packed the March route the entire time. But – and this is where you chuckle – due to #2 (no cell service) – no one knew that the crowds were so massive that no official marching was going to be occurring. People were confused – blissfully confused, but still confused – much of the time, wondering when the hell the marching was going to officially begin.
But before you get too sad that we attendees couldn't even march at the March on Washington...
7) We were able to sort of leisurely stroll along the route. In truth, this was much cooler. When attendees – who, remember, had no cell service – started to learn of the massive turnout, it was just the "shot in the arm" that the event needed. Marchers pretty much owned the streets of D.C. for hours and hours – that was empowering. A highlight for us was that very period during which we were walking (er, slowly) the streets of our nation's Capitol to the White House and beyond.
Crap. Did I just say the day needed a "shot in the arm?"
8) Yeah, so, when you legit can't move (see #2), your brain starts to play tricks on you – no matter how excited or inspired you are. The realization of #5 was a mid-day boost to attendees' mindsets. A big boost. As in "I'm trapped, hungry, can't move, and just peed my pants. But, yay, that's because so many people showed up. This isn't just an event; it's a movement!"
Speaking of a Movement...
9) It's quite gratifying to be around people with passion for a cause. If you're sitting passive on the sidelines, join in. This isn't about whether or not the issues impact you. It's about right vs. wrong, equality, justice, and decency. People who trekked to a March "get" that.
---> Clarification A: To people who say "What good does a March do?" please see #9. A March is a uniting, a starting point, a celebration, a cementing of resolve. We saw an avalanche of connections made, sparks ignited, paths forged. Again, don't be a nay-sayer on the sidelines of life.
---> Clarification B: To people who say "I'm an empowered, fulfilled ______ (woman, man, etc). This isn't my cause" please see #9. In life, even if we've "made it" or "it's all good" we still have to involve ourselves in things beyond our own self interest. These issues, specifically, really do impact all of us. Our democracy is being threatened. Don't stand for it.
10) We're convinced that the momentum will continue. It has to. A lot of people are "awake" to the severity of what is happening in our country – and because of that, the world – but many people are still asleep to the potentially inescapable disaster we're quickly hurling toward.
Hearing the stories of how advocates are coming to be engaged – Trump's dictatorship-like tweets, the administration's bending the definition of the what "fact" means, etc, – has us hopeful that the enlightenment (not cult-y) will continue.
11) It takes all of us. The Women's March symbolizes showing up for our democracy. No matter your views, don't be a person who stands on the sidelines. Here are three suggestions for taking action:
- Contact your elected officials. Yes, even if your representatives' votes align with your views.
- Volunteer for and/or donate to an organization that makes a difference in the lives of those in need. We love Oxfamand the ACLU, among many others.
- Join 10 Actions / 100 Days – the continuation of the Women's March on Washington movement.
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