This past week has been filled with fear and chaos. Our nation, and the world, is in turmoil. Frankly, I’ve been reeling since the election. It shouldn’t be any surprise where my politics lie – I worked in the environmental field for almost twenty years before launching my own business, which is focused in part on practicing sustainable consumerism. Human rights and environmental responsibility are values I strive to uphold in all aspects of my life.

How can I talk about embracing your true self in my work if I don’t do the same?

Until now, I’ve been careful about keeping politics out of my work. I have friends, family, and clients who hold different views than me, and I respect that the right to differing views is a critical element of our democracy. But we’ve entered something altogether more alarming than differing views. People’s fundamental human rights are at stake with the recent actions taken by our nation’s new president.

I feel that it is inauthentic for me to stay silent when each day brings more concern, disbelief, and truthfully, outrage. How can I talk about embracing your true self in my work if I don’t do the same?

We must stand up for what is right. We must resist divisiveness, hatred, and exclusion in favor of practicing tolerance, kindness, and compassion for those in need and those who are different from us. And we must take action through our actions.

We must take action through our actions.

For some, that means daily calls to our elected representatives. For others, protesting in public spaces. And for others, it is through quieter, local actions to help those affected by the recent executive orders that are marginalizing groups of human beings in our nation and in the rest of the world. And some will do all of the above. Whatever choice, we must do something. Otherwise, we are complicit in our silence.

share your resources

One way you can resist is to be generous with what you have. What resources can you share with others?

Of course, monetary donations to organizations representing those affected are a great way to help. But there are other ways as well.

Volunteer your time. You may have just the skill, and definitely the people-power, a non-profit organization needs.

And something that immediately comes to my mind is to donate the clothing you are no longer wearing. There are many local organizations giving immediate help to people in need – my December post, The Gift of Giving, lists some Twin Cities organizations.

the power of numbers

How can we band together to create more impact?

I LOVE this idea from Tim Mazurek on his blog, Lottie + Doof: throw a party for friends, where instead of bringing a bottle of wine or other gift for the host, they bring whatever dollars they can to donate to your chosen organization. Together, they raised $750 for Planned Parenthood and got to spend quality time with good friends. Check out more great party ideas at Lottie + Doof.

Think about ways you can collaborate with others – together we can make bigger change.

speak up, and listen

We must not be fearful to speak up. We must not let hopelessness keep us from taking action. Every small step collectively makes impact.

And we must listen. Not to the rhetoric, but to the underlying reasons behind what drives people to believe what they do. That goes for all of us. If we seek to truly understand each other, perhaps we can find common ground to resist those who are threatening permanent harm to our nation.