I had so much hope when I went to sleep on November 8, 2016. I had so much hope for waking up the next day to a new world, a brighter world, a world sprinkled with glass shards from the glass ceiling that would have shattered and glinted in the sun like the glitter I still can’t get out of my favourite sorority recruitment heels. November 9, 2016 did bring with it a new world (a new world order some might say) but there was no shattered ceiling to speak of. There was instead a change, a dramatic shift, towards someone who I do not need to name because well, we all know his name. He’s everywhere now. But this post is not about him, it’s about Hillary his former political opponent.
It’s about how she had the chance to inspire millions of people and, despite her loss, she did. She conceded with grace, class, and perhaps in her concession I saw that ceiling crack just a tiny bit. She laid some good groundwork. She started building a ladder. She did not do it alone though. No woman or man on earth has ever done anything completely alone. We are not alone. If there is one major good thing that came out of this election it is that people will stand together, maybe not when and how you want them to (just look at the voter turn out) but they will be present. We are not alone.
I don’t outright believe in the idea of protests (perhaps it’s my tendency to want to ‘wait for it’ and be less than divisive). In my mind they are too easily linked to violence, which hardly ever serves the protesting side well. I do believe though that voices must be heard and if walking in the streets en masse will bring more attention to your cause, more power to you. You are not alone in your shock, in your protests, and in your fear.
You are also not alone in your fervour, hope, and willingness to advocate for change regardless of who sits the White House for the next four years. The people will outlive their 45th president’s presidency. He will leave. You will go on. You must go on. Take your time to grieve. Only through that grief can you truly find a path that will allow you to continue on in your quest and crusade to make American stronger and better together. Stay with her. Stay with yourselves. Do not lose hope. You are not alone. Speak out. Work within (and outside) the system. Hold your government accountable to your system of checks and balances. Have faith in your Framers. Have faith in yourselves. Do not lose hope. Do not isolate yourself. Do not cocoon yourself for the next four years. There is so much good that can be done even in the face of bigotry and prejudice.
Remember Michelle Obama’s words, “When they go low, we go high.” Go high. Be an inspiration to the people in your life and keeping on going. Churchill has counsel for times like this too, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Keep going. Please. Keep going. I may not be full of hope, but I am not going to let this keep me from dreaming. One day there will be glass shards glittering in the sunlight after an election night. I will live to see women as equal players in the world. I will. I must. And I know, I am not alone in these thoughts. I have hope. When I go to sleep tonight I know that the world is not perfect. Sometimes it feels extremely flawed and broken, but I will still have hope. Let hope be your weapon. Let it glitter, and cut those who would see your hope crushed beneath the weight of hate. Wear your hope proudly.