Nine things I can do after this election
On this day after day after a historic national presidential election, I can’t speak for our country or even for others, but I can speak for myself. So I commit myself, on this day, to:
1. Listen to others. Listen to those grieving how the election turned out. Listen to those who defied pollsters and elected Donald Trump.
2. Pray. Praying may not change the world. Or it may. But [praying has the most potential to keep my own heart soft and tender](http://hungrymarshall.com/2016/11/08/a-prayer-for-election-day/). It’s part of what we can do to care for our souls.
3. Be kind. More than anything, what we can do to each other is be kind. Even when we disagree vociferously. And it means not being an asshole male who disparages others.
4. Protect those who may be at risk. In these changing times, fear is thick and dark and prevalent. It’s found in each of us and may be the one thing that unifies us. In our homes, in our workplaces, in our schools, I will work to keep others safe and may be targets of hate. I will try to walk beside someone who needs someone there.
5. Volunteer. I’ll read to elementary kids. I’ll mentor young people. I’ll serve pancakes and cook meals. I’ll say yes when someone asks if I can help.
6. Show up. Being part of a community (a faith community or in the broader sense) and a democracy means showing up. It means protesting wrongs, signing petitions, going to meetings and trying to participate.
7. Not assume I understand everything. I don’t know what it feels like to be a single father working a minimum wage job. I don’t know what it feels like to be an LGBTQ person or Mexican immigrant. So I won’t assume that I do know, but will repeatedly return to item No. 1 on this list.
8. Try to speak truth. It’s hard to call for justice meekly or mildly, so there are times to call out corruption or descry the actions of those in power. I’ll try to do that while still returning to No. 1.
9. Laugh. I can’t make it through this life without laughter. Or music. Or love. So I’ll seek them all out, but mostly laughter.
Is this enough? I don’t know. But on this day, it’s what I can commit to.