On Memorial Day, 2021, like many, I came out of self-solituding into a crowd celebrating the ability to gather following a year unlike any other most of us have lived. When the pandemic began, I stayed home except to make a few shopping recons. My grandson was born on January 21, 2020, which was […]
The iconic quote was a clarion call in the 60’s and 70’s to acknowledge the contribution and value of women. It is even more poignant today and was evidenced yesterday.
On January 21, 2017, a historic event took place worldwide with attendance collectively in the millions. On this day, we did hold up at least half the sky. The Women’s March was attended by women, men, and children; from babes in arms and snuggies to elders who have been on the front lines for progressive causes for many decades. One man named Steve was there to march on behalf of the women in his life, including his mother who introduced him to activism in his teens. She has passed and he honors her.
Initially, I had planned on heading down to Washington, DC for the ‘big march,’ but when I heard that Philadelphia was holding their own rally, I made that choice instead. Excitement mounted for me as the day neared, a counterpoint to the inauguration the day before. On Friday, I didn’t watch or listen to the goings on three hours south of my home. I chose to immerse in self-care by receiving a massage and then spent the afternoon and evening seeing therapy clients.
I boarded the train in Doylestown, PA accompanied by hundreds of others, as we headed the hour or so down the track to Philly. By the time we got a few stops down the line, the cars were standing room only and shortly thereafter, filled to capacity, so that no one else could board. I sat opposite a man, who cosmically coincidentally was a therapist, like me who was also a professor who trained therapists. He is the father of two young children who were not there with him and his wife this time but had attended other such events. I asked him how, with their social conscience, he and his wife explained the current administration. He shared that from an early age, they knew that people have different views and it is important to honor each other regardless. I asked specifically how to teach children honesty and respect when the current occupant of the White House doesn’t model those behaviors. Again he offered that there are people in the world who don’t live with the same values as their family does, but it is still important to live them.
I met up with friends throughout the day who were there for similar reasons as I. I also carried with me a piece of paper with the names of those who couldn’t be there but asked to be with us in Spirit.
A few things that got accomplished at the marches today: People felt supported and not alone in their feelings about the future.We were amongst our tribe. It represented the sentiment of many in the country. It gave folks a sense of hope. It put the administration on notice that the people have strong opinions and aren’t afraid to voice them. It encouraged ongoing activism since this is not a one and done event. It showed that peaceful protests can take place. I am guessing that more showed up for these events than for the inauguration. How do you like them apples?
I was there as a Hugmobster Armed With Love and was blown away by the sheer numbers of people who came together to speak truth to power. Such a blessing to be amidst people of all ages. Peaceful, loving, non-violent, motivating. Now to take the next steps to protect our precious earth and the next generations. I don’t see that as polarizing, but something that people on any side of the political divide could embrace. How ’bout it?
When I was on the train back from Philly to Doylestown, a 3-year-old girl sat next to me. Her parents had brought her to the march. It was so wonderful to see children present since it means they are being taught to love. They are becoming responsible citizens, even at their ages.
When I ponder my presence and the motivation behind it, I acknowledge that I was there in support of women’s rights/human rights..same thing. I was there in support of healing and reconciliation. I was there in support of future generations. I was there in support of those who had been abused and whose memories were triggered by the misogynist rhetoric being tossed about. I was there in support of the earth which needs our attention and not neglect. I was there in support of those who have no voice. I was there in support of all those who fear to lose their safety, freedom, and rights. I was not there to be anti- anything or anyone.
Do I wish that the new administration was more progressive and liberal? Sure. Do I wish the president would have a whole mind makeover? You bet.
I am learning to accept the current reality while working to change what I can. I know that this event today was not a one and done deal. It needs to be a case of being vigilant and outspoken. It feels like a holy obligation.
I made an observation toward to end of the rally that I want to share with you. It was overcast and foggy all day. The mist hovered above the buildings. It mirrored what I had been feeling since the election; a looming and ominous presence. Although the sun didn’t peek out all day, it felt like the collective energy of those gathered kept the fog aloft.
The numbers are staggering. More than one million collectively. I was honored to be part of the Philly 50,000.
If you marched today, why did you join millions worldwide? What was your experience?