What an incredible thing to give to a person – the knowledge that they are not alone.
Due to financial constraints, I was unable to attend the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. And due to a prior work commitment, I was also unable to attend the sister march in Los Angeles. Even now, after all the dust has settled and everyone has packed up and gone home, that fact still pains me.
But for the duration of that same work shift I scrolled through my news feeds and sought out live updates and coverage from news organizations about the marches across the country and the world. Images and videos poured in from people, friends and strangers alike, who were on the ground, standing up and speaking out for the things that I hold dear. The belief that, in plainest terms, everyone deserves decency and respect and equality and autonomy over their own bodies and lives.
It brought tears to my eyes. A bit problematic, since I was supposed to be dealing with customers, but I didn’t care. Because those tears were so very different from the ones I shed on election night, and the days that followed.
I wanted to cry because I was proud.
Early estimates say that three million people marched in cities all across the United States. And that’s the low-ball figure. It doesn’t include the people from other countries who marched in solidarity. It doesn’t include people like me, who for one reason or another could not march alongside everyone else.
That is a hell of a lot of people. The largest single-day organized protest in American history, or so I’m told.
Do not misunderstand me. I have no delusions. Things are going to get much worse before they get better. A shit-storm of awful is going to be coming at us from every which way and we’ve already seen the start of it. And I know that I must do better to fight it, do more to fight it.
But for the first time since November, that fight doesn’t seem so hopeless anymore.
I hope you feel that way, too. And if you don’t, or forget it in the coming months when the emotional rush of today fades into memory, remember this:
You’ve got three million people and counting in your corner.
You are not alone.