I know for myself and many more people who have worked so diligently to promote equal rights, not only for women but all people, last night was a like a shot in the gut. This morning, I will admit, I felt the needles of depression prickling through my body. But I took a breath and asked myself, “why did I take up this cause? Why did I begin down this road?”
I did not begin this journey because of an election. I began working to promote women’s rights, civil rights, religious freedoms, LGBT rights and human rights because I want the world to be a better place for my fellow human beings, for my friends and family, for people I love and even people I do not like; for strangers and friends I haven’t met yet. I want a better world for our future. I wanted to be a voice to promote equality.
While the embodiment of that growth towards civilized humanity took a definite blow, we cannot allow ourselves to be a silenced majority. We cannot stop fighting for what is right simply because the path ahead is more difficult. Freedom is never free. It is bought and paid for by the sacrifice and dedication of those who fight for it. I will continue to fight as long as it takes to be a voice for equality, where women stand equal to men; until we no longer distinguish people as minorities, segregating them in our society, but see all citizens as completely equal; until LGBTs have full rights without discrimination; until people of all religions and no religion feel completely free and safe from harassment and ridicule; until Native Americans are respected and their treaties honored; until we are guaranteed clean air to breathe and clean water to drink.
When any of these are missing from our civilization, we are not free. When anyone is greater, is systemically afforded more power and opportunity, then there cannot be equality. Refuse to be the silenced majority. Renew your mission and your strength. The fight may be more difficult, but, united, we can be more than its equal. We will not step calmly aside and give away all that we have accomplished. Women will not step back and be submissively ruled. What is right does not change simply because it is more difficult to achieve.
So, take a moment, if you must, to breathe. But once you have caught your breath, we have work to do. It takes every single one of us to be the voice of reason and to sing the song of change. And what is that change? We can’t legislate it with enduring power. The true change has to happen in the ideology of society. We need to be the people who represent that change: inclusive, empathetic, logical, humble, educated, helpful, generous and caring. We change the world by being the world.
We are One Woman, One World.
photo credit: nipic.com
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