Waking up on Wednesday morning was difficult. I had gone to bed at 4 a.m. in Denmark after a terrible Leafs loss and with the Florida election results being too close to call.
I had hoped to wake up in a better world where there was finally a female president. But instead, I felt as if I’d woken up in a nightmare. A man with no political, diplomatic or military executive experience is the president-elect of the most powerful country in the world.
It’s scary to think how far we’ve come. In 2012, Mitt Romney was heavily criticized for his “binders full of women” comment during the second presidential debate. Now we have a recording of Mr. Trump saying he’d grab women by their genitals.
We like to think progress has been made, but I can’t help but think that we’ve only gone backwards.
It’s very clear that there is a divide in our society, but among these broken relations, we have to believe that we will grow stronger, reconcile (some) of our differences and come closer together.
We cannot lose hope.
We cannot forget that there is still good in this world and if you cannot find good, I urge you to be good. Youth are often told that we’re too idealistic, that we don’t have a thorough understanding, that our opinions aren’t as important.
This world is just as much ours as it is anyone else’s, but that means it is also our responsibility to take care of it.
If you are angry or upset, take action. Be the change you want to see. Do not give in to fear-mongering and passive acceptance of a reality that you are unhappy with. Make your voices heard in a way where the government will be compelled to listen to and want to create change. Write letters, have discussions and listen to others in a respectful manner.
This is not a time for violence or cruelty. As upset as you may be, do not attack those with whom you disagree. Do not let your anger cloud your judgement and prevent you from listening. Isn’t that how we got here in the first place?
We cannot forget that there is still good in this world and if you cannot find good, I urge you to be good.
Be supportive. Be brave. Be hopeful.
The world may seem dark and difficult but the sun is still shining and the earth is still turning. Life will continue. It’s up to you to make a life that you want to be a part of.
Change will come. Let’s make it happen in our lifetime.