I’m not a protester. I’m not someone willing to spend my Saturday afternoon marching in the streets focusing on the problem. My days are better well spent actively working on the solution. Protests serve their purpose, they bring awareness to an issue. Once we are aware, and I assure you, the citizens of this country are aware, as well as the rest of the world, because the world is watching the debacle going on in US politics right now and at every moment, then we must take action towards a solution.
What is the solution you may ask? Well, posting all of the horrible things that Trump and his administration are doing all over Facebook is not a solution. It’s a shit show, we are aware. Many of my students have asked me, what are we going to do? They too are not the protest on the streets type. But many of us have friends, relatives, coworkers, neighbors and clients who are all at risk of being deported, threatened and even the victims of racist comments and actions. Helping these people, who reside in our own back yard is how we show our resistance.
It is in the cities and metropolitan areas where the democratic votes beat out the republican ones. It is in these areas where society is the most diverse. It is in these places that demonstrations are taking place. In my yoga classes alone, the native English speakers are vastly out numbered by immigrants and this is something that I love. When I’m not travelling, I want to meet people unlike myself, from places I would love to go. Our diversity is at risk. It is in the most densely populated areas that the solutions lie.
As part of the solution, we can all educate each other and ask our fellow neighbors what we can do to help. Currently I tutor 3 non-native English speakers. One of my students is from the Dominican Republic and a US citizen. Everyday, he calls his Mexican friend to make sure he and his family is ok, if they need anything, or if he can do anything to help. He is a visa holder, his wife is not, their children are citizens. Living in fear of being deported is real, right now, all of the time. Children will be sent to a place where they have never lived, because their parents are not citizens. It’s not just the illegals that are being sent away, it’s visa holders as well. And many visa holders are being sent back upon arrival, after they spent hundreds of dollars on a plane ticket to get here. This will surely affect our economy, when even tourists do not want to come.
The solutions are baby steps right now, one friend, one family at a time. If you know someone who is living in fear of being deported, or just blatant racism, stand by their side. Do whatever you can for them. Spend time with them, help educate them and introduce them to others that can help them get through this difficult time. Being a good American is also representing yourself in your everyday activities, by being peaceful in your actions, generous with your time and by assuring others that we will get through this together. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and contrary to popular belief, it does not have to get worse before it gets better. We can make it better right now.
Feel free to disagree, for you may not think that this is not enough. But I assure you, that one good deed attracts another, and soon a snowball of solutions appear. Fight the good fight if you must, if it makes you feel better, but fighting for me has never made me feel better. Making a new friend, helping someone in need, and going the extra mile has always made me feel better. Focusing on the problem will only make it bigger. Finding solutions will bind us together in a way that only America can.