a united ignited

Art by: Emile White: Henry Miller Library, Big Sur, CA

Art by: Emile White: Henry Miller Library, Big Sur, CA

Hey! Can we just take a second to celebrate some awesome stuff that has happened this past week in history?

·       Boy Scouts Will Allow Transgender Boys paving the way for trans boys to join the organization <- finally. Yes!

·       Bill Nye Made his debut as a fashion model <-  because heck yeah, science is sexy.  

·       After #DeleteUber got trending on Twitter, Uber pledged $3 million and immigration lawyers for it's drivers <- Nice comeback!                                                                                             ...and now dozens of companies are cutting ties with the Trump family.

·       This happened & it was beautiful   <- THIS is the way to choose empathy, trust, & kindness, kids. 

·       MoMA has replaced works in its permanent collection galleries with works by artists affected by the Muslim ban<- so great. 

·       Beyoncé is pregnant with twins <- 'nuff said. 

A few months ago as I was starting this BETTER'ISH thang, I wrote this piece about how the progressive liberal bubble I was living in had popped.

It was that day that I realized I needed to step up my game and start taking a more active role for the betterment of our country and the diverse people living in it. Yes, a lofty & ambitious goal, but honest and real. Many of us had some kind of similar awakening on November 9th. 

Since then, I have been attempting to stay better informed, empathetic & engaged more than I've ever before.

I've been obsessively reading the news on the hour. 

I've been more regularly talking to friends and strangers about politics and the scary directions our country is heading towards under the Trump administration. 

I've participated in a few marches, rallies and community events in solidarity with my POC friends, my LGBTQ friends, my Muslim friends, people who identify as female, various minority groups, and for anyone who has ever been oppressed, ignored or mistreated by the ignorance in this world.   

I've been calling my senators and representatives. 

I've been starting to plan my social life around upcoming rallies in support of everything from Planned Parenthood to refugees to science.  

Overall: I've been thinking a lot about how to effectively engage in my community and beyond.  

Many of us are looking for answers as to what to next, how we can best serve, and how we can take actions that will make a difference. 

I'm not here to share my step-to-step guide on how to take action because 

a.) I'm still figuring it out 

b.) many awesome people have already made recommendations   

i.e. A few helpful guides I've come across so far:  A Nervous Reck's Guide to Stepping Up, is geared for those with anxiety, but I feel anyone can take notes form this.  

The Indivisible Guide unpacks best practices for making Congress listen f'real. 

These Weekly Actions are nice; you can subscribe to this and receive weekly emails with all sorts of actions. 

What to do when you're so overwhelmed by the Trump presidency you can barely move visually paints a realistic picture on how to keep on keepin' on. 


What I've found that these (and others) all have in common?

They all rely on what our country has been built on: uniting. 


I think that the best thing the election of Trump has brought forth is the optimistic & proven point that through resisting, more and more people are uniting

It's through this kind of uniting that we must learn from and celebrate our differences, and come together to set alight that we are one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL. Not just a select few. 

 No doubt the resistance has begun. People have been banding together in some epically powerful ways the past two weeks alone: more than 5 million people joined the Women's March, gathering in cities and towns across the world to stand together for human rights. Thousands showed up at various airports across the U.S. last weekend in response to Trump's order on immigration. Organizing is happening every day...and it's going to need to keep on happening.  

Those big numbers are great, but in the spirit of "betterish, it's important to acknowledge how small actions of coming together can also make an impact.

Maybe instead of making phone calls to your representatives & getting impatient by yourself, you can sit on hold/listen to the busy signals with a group of friends with a 5 Calls Phone Fest (a.k.a. get a small group of your buddies together, hang out, eat yummy food, and get your voices heard). 

Similarly, instead of writing postcards alone in your dark, cold room with your space heater, have yourself a Post Card Party (get some inspo here). 

And hey check this out: you can host a huddle (or enter your zip code and find out someone near you who already is). 

Whichever way you want to explore uniting---blending, joining together, connecting, fusing, linking, organizing, mobilizing----remember it's about merging our similarities AND differences. Desmond Tutu once said,

"If you want peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk with your enemies." 

This resistance will not be at all another round of kumbaya. 

We must not get tired, but inspired. 

We must rise up in ways we have not shown up before. 

We must use our privilege on behalf of those who lack it. 

We must stay aware, involved, ignited and united. 

In the coming weeks and months, I hope to share more stories on how people are taking a variety of small actions that are ultimately leading to a bigger place of betterment. Please feel free to share your plans & schemes with me in the comment box below or shoot me a message at: thebetterishmailbox@gmail.com -emidobz 

emily hope dobkin