Post Election Week
Last week I had the good fortune to be called into action the morning after the election in the name of recovering from trauma – what a hidden blessing! My commitment to teaching put me into action when much of the nation was in paralyzed shock, feeling helpless to act in any effective manner while watching the election returns in horror.
This week has been different. I am back home. In sifting through the hundreds of inflammatory and accusatory emails that are flying through cyberspace, I have received several responses email-wise that have actually been helpful. Here are two of the most balanced that I have received. Rick Hanson wrote my number one choice, and here is the LINK.
The next one is from Ellyn Bader. Here is the text since this came in an email without a site to link to:
Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 9:49 PM
To: Suzanne Scurlock
Subject: Resources for you and your clients
This is not a time to discuss Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, but a time to look sadly at the deep divide in our country. As a therapist and as a community organizer, I’ve spent a lot of my life working to help people overcome divisiveness and conflict.
In my office and very possibly yours, the past week has been spent with clients processing strong emotions about the election. It is a time when many feel scared and helpless.
I am horrified by the hatred and intolerance that has been unleashed. Children fear going to school. A Trump supporter was beaten last Friday at a local high school. Some news commentators received more anti-semetic notes in two days than in the last 10 years.
So many immigrant families here in California fear that their families will be yanked apart and deported. Others are horrified about climate change and how we may further destroy the environment. Muslim girls are being punched for wearing berkahs.
More than ever this is a time to stand up and have a voice. It is a time to stand up for human dignity, for your values and for the possibility of honoring differences in others. We can learn and help others discover that differences don’t have to divide people or lead to aggression.
Every time you sit with a couple and convey possibility and help them bridge their differences, you play an important role in communicating possibility over aggression and hatred.
As a small way of taking action, I want to share with you some excellent resources for those who feel scared or disenfranchised.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of America offers enrichment programs and support for children after school.
And if you fear important gains slipping away, consider becoming active in one of these organizations:
The National Immigration Law Center is dedicated to fighting for the rights of low-income immigrants through litigation, policy analysis and advocacy, and various other methods. Donate or learn how you can attend a local training.
EarthJustice is the largest nonprofit environmental law organization in the country, working to protect wildlife, for healthy communities, and for cleaner energy options. The organization represents its clients free of charge.
Planned Parenthood is the country’s leading provider of sexual and reproductive healthcare. Check their nationwide volunteer opportunities.
Or check out this list of “Pro-Women, Pro-Immigrant, Pro-Earth, Anti-Bigotry” organizations that need help if those values align with yours. When I saw it there were 36 nonprofits listed and a note that editors would continue to add more!
To build the world we want, the relationships we want and the communities we want, we must live in the tension and reach across the divide to build compassion and understanding with those who are truly different from ourselves.
To healing the divide in each and every small way possible,
Tomorrow I will explore my own specific ways of coping – and they are indeed quite varied!