One year after over 5 million people of all ages, tribes, religions and socioeconomic statuses protested the inauguration of President Donald Trump into office, another rally was held last Saturday, January 20th, 2018 in several cities across the United States, and indeed around the globe to convey a candid, direct and straightforward message yet again.
The messages were blunt and to the point. Protesters were seen rallying against President Trump and his administration’s policies. And according to the information put out by the organizers of the march, the main premise of the protest was built upon one fundamental theory: “Women’s Rights are Human Rights, and Human Right’s are Women’s Rights”. Protesters strongly believed in their convictions, and as such, resorted to voicing out their concerns, by rallying on the streets of major cities. Rallies were reportedly held in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Austin, Washington, Arizona, Philadelphia, as well as several other cities around the globe.
Personally, I do not support discrimination against anyone for any reason or in any circumstance, and that includes gender discrimination. However, that is not the focus of this paper. Irrespective of your party affiliation, it was evident that the messages conveyed by the protesters were candid, plainly-spoken and blunt. Whether you support their cause or not is not the main issue. The main issue is that, they were able to communicate their message, in very clear terms. Which is why clear, straightforward and honest conversations, are indeed important, if we want to have our voices heard. The protesters’ messages were so clear, that even President Trump had to respond to them. He tweeted: “Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to March. …..”.
So, what are the lessons we can draw from this situation? When things happen, especially with the changing societal tides on several issues, it is important to be able to glean from the myriad of information out there, focusing only on the salient points and key takeaways. Therefore, in the wake of the march, key lessons which we can apply to our own lives include:
- Be bold to always state your opinions on issues, be it in your family, job, school, social engagements, etc., even if no one else buys into your ideas. You should be confident of your convictions and be able to voice them out even in the face of oppositions. However, many times, we may find that holding on to unpopular opinions often puts us in the back seat. But that is fine, if you truly believe in that which you are passionate about. 5 million is only a little fraction (less than 2%) of the population of America. However, the protesters, convinced that their convictions are just and true, have continued to hold on to them, despite the derogatory and demeaning comments/attitude from the ruling Government.
- We can indeed hold opposite stances on the same issue, but can also tolerate one another while doing so. But what do we see today? People who hitherto have been ally’s, buddies or even family, have lost out on cherished relationships, all because they held opposing views about issues both sides were passionate about. This ought not to be. We can agree to disagree, disagree to disagree or disagree to agree. But that shouldn’t make us unable to see eye to eye, with one another. Our disagreement on issues should not have to end in violence, hatred, rancor or disputes. We can still coexist and live in peace at home, work, relationships, etc., even if we share opposite views. Because remember, after all said and done, the politicians and their systems will come and go, but you and I will be here for the long haul.
- Silence is no longer golden. The marchers felt hushed for a long time, and have seized on the current opportunity to let their voices be heard. With the current #MeToo campaign going on regarding sexual misconduct from several high profiled individuals in society, more people have felt empowered to voice out such incidents, and make statements on several perpetrators. If you or someone you know is experiencing any form of discrimination, including sexual, work-place, gender, etc., it is time to take a stand and speak up. Silence is no longer golden, because speaking up for justice for the victims and punishment for the perpetrators, is now the right thing to do. It is time to stand up for what is right.
- You can no longer be an onlooker on issues that affect you or the common good. Add your voice to pertinent discussions, especially those that impact your wellbeing. Reach out, and help others who may not be able to help themselves. Help out in your community. Perform your civic responsibility, and let your voice be heard at the polls. It is not enough to sit back and complain about everything that is not good or working about the government, if you did not let your own voice be heard at the polls. It is time to begin to do the right thing, by adding your voice to the common good.
Irrespective of your political affiliations or societal prejudices, it is clear that the women’s march participants conveyed their messages in clear, candid and straight forward terms. There were no gimmicks played, and I am sure the intended recipients also understood the messages communicated across. Regardless of our convictions and strongly held beliefs, we can all learn to live in peace, while still voicing out our views or concerns about issues that affect our common good in very clear and candid terms. I believe that this is the right thing to do, and I hope you would embrace this approach to foster our society’s good!
To your continued success. Cheers!!!