How exactly did I find myself, on a chilly Tuesday night, inside a would be Italian restaurant listening to a bunch of people talk about congressmen I had never heard of before and candidates to the school board I didn’t even know existed?
Apparently I have joined the resistance, that’s why.
Resistance is a word much bandied about these days, in particular by the millions who found themselves on the losing side at the last elections and who are trying to find creative ways to fight the Trump administration’s agenda tooth and nail.
This resistance business is taking its toll, though. My inbox is deluged with emails detailing phone calls I need to make or conference calls to participate in; my FB page alerts me to marches and protests; a girlfriend sent me a list of apps that prompt you to take different civic steps every day; I am at the receiving ends of white papers/reports/ exposes and whatever else is supposed to catch my attention and make me outraged.
I wake up in the morning wondering if life has gone back to normal yet. The answer is always no. “This resistance is a full-time job” a friend lamented recently. It’s a miracle we are getting any work done, between emails sent and received, congressmen and senators on speed dial and rallies to confirm. I am exhausted. And it’s only 30 days into this Presidency.
I am also having a problem with the word resistance. Politically, it conjures the underground movements working to undermine the Nazis in WWII Europe. Is the threat we are facing now of the same magnitude? Personally, it brings up my own resistance: to situations, people, opportunities – the one I have spent a lifetime tearing down.
I like resilience, or rebound better. They convey less negativity, a suppleness to work through problems, an optimism that is hard to find at the moment. Even conversations with perfect strangers always end up clouded by current events. A patient, watching CNN, today bemoaned that he didn’t understand what was happening, how had everything become so complicated?
How indeed. I feel compelled to apologize to my Latino friends and employees, those I know are here illegally, for the fear they are experiencing. I tell them not to open the door if strangers come knocking. Who would have thought it? Who would have thought I would feel the need to express my displeasure to my bank teller about headquarters’ support and investment in the Dakota pipeline? Who would have thought I would need to worry about my growing old and the cost of health insurance?
It’s now clear I cannot single-handedly, nor with the help of like-minded friends, tilt the world back to where I would like it to be. It is going to take some fighting, a lot of patience and a reserve of outrage. What I can do, though, is go about my business living and mirroring the world the way I feel it should be. Truth, more than resistance, resonates with me right now. My personal truth and the one I should hold everybody else accountable to, from family members all the way to the President.
Plenty of coffee, restful nights and an enormous dose of optimism should help too.