This week, our country experienced something it hasn’t experienced in two centuries. Our nation’s capital was stormed. It happened during a traditionally routine and peaceful part of the transition of power process, no less. For many of those watching the attack unfold, it was a terrifying sight to see, and I can’t even begin to imagine the way it felt for those inside the Capitol.
As I watched what was happening in disbelief, so many different thoughts and emotions flew through my head. It didn’t feel real, and I didn’t want to accept that this is what has become of our country.
We keep learning more and more from this act of domestic terrorism as the days go on, and it feels like we no longer stand as one nation. We are no longer indivisible. Liberty and justice for all feels like a myth.
These people, the men and women who took it upon themselves to ravage the hallowed halls of our nation’s highest legislative body, have shown us where we stand as a country. They’ve also shown us the terrifying power of one man’s words and their irreparable consequences.
So, where do we go from here? How do we move forward, both as a country and as individuals? How do we prove to this mob that they can not and will not, no matter how hard they try, destroy the will of the people? How do we take care of ourselves in the rubble and dust left behind?
We have to overcome this divide and reunite as one nation. We the people must make ourselves heard and tell them we will not be silenced, and we will not be intimidated.
If you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed, or even outraged, take the time to do something productive. Regardless of party affiliation, you have a right to speak your mind and join in on civil discourse. Keep in mind, though, that that Constitutional right does not extend to violence. Do research, share information, sign petitions, call your legislators, organize or participate in peaceful demonstrations.
If you need a break from social media, take it. If you need a break from watching the news, take it. Sometimes, we need a moment away from the cacophony of voices and opinions we hear and see on the news and social media. 1N5 shared a video this week that said to take time to read actual articles about what happened. Rather than berating ourselves with images and videos, we can take a moment to read the facts. The most important part of a functioning democracy is a well-informed electorate. Take time to inform yourself if you don’t know what else to do.
There are moments when we can afford to sit back and do nothing. This is not one of them.
I know this is scary. I know this is not what we signed up for. I know this is not what the founding fathers had in mind in 1776. We will get past this, though. We will come out stronger and wiser on the other side. Hopefully, we will come out more unified, too.
Stay safe, stay informed, stay vocal.