Written by Amy Levi, CNM, WHNP-BC, PhD
What an amazing experience to be part of a crowd of a million people (mostly women), lifting their voices, chanting and singing together, and joining with millions of others around the world —
Most important, though, was the emphasis on what we all needed to do next: make a phone call every day to an elected representative, write letters to newspapers to let our views be known, run for office. When so many of us feel that our time is already full of activity, and self-care is often abandoned for caring for others, the importance of continuing to lift our voices cannot be emphasized enough. As Margaret Mead so eloquently stated, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
We must be those committed citizens now, as our personal freedoms and rights are being threatened. Being surrounded by a crowd of people who didn’t necessarily look like me reinforced the importance of the intersectionality of this movement. The speakers were also representative of the world we live in: multi-racial, from a myriad of religious, ethnic, and faith communities. “This is what democracy looks like” rang out at regular intervals, reminding us of the power we possess as citizens to make this the world we want to live in, not the one that is determined by a flawed electoral process.
It’s time for us to be part of the vocal majority now, and we can all do something: make five calls a day, make sure you are doing something kind for at least one other person, and do something especially kind for yourself. We will need to keep the power of our marches moving us forward.
Please take some time to be quiet and gain strength for the journey. Medieval Sufi mystic and poet, Rumi, expresses this point in his poem, “Guest House”:
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.