Our new world

We live in a new world now. One where more than half of us are shocked, despairing, and afraid. We have handed the reins of the world's most powerful country to a man who has never held office, who is an admitted sexual aggressor, racist, and xenophobe, and who was the favored candidate of the alt-right and the KKK. Many adjectives have been applied to him. Unfortunately, intelligent, thoughtful, serious, honest, and responsible are not part of the litany.

So what are we to do? I know that we must give ourselves time to grieve. And I know that we must not give in to depression and despair, easy as that is. Hillary didn't run a sterling campaign but I liked her motto: "stronger together." Together we can grieve, and together we must work for change.

There are hundreds of ways to envision how our country will be affected, and I can't imagine being muslim, or latino, or black or native American and experiencing the fear this election has engendered. I want to tell them, "It's not true that half your country hates you." But why believe me when the new leader so loudly says the opposite? I want to say to the Earth, "Don't worry, we'll protect you," while the new leader declares, "Away with global warming initiatives—more oil, more coal; that will make us great."

There are many ways to think about what lies ahead, but my choice is to reaffirm—despite despair—that life is a gift and each of us has a purpose. I will do my best to counter what he and his cohorts stand for. I will speak out about injustice when I see it; I will call out racism. I will defend our constitutional rights, our common heritage and our common lands. I will no longer be silent and "polite."

We are confronting the darkness now, and there's only one way forward. No matter how difficult, we must be the light.