“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another. Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other.” –Zechariah 7:9-10 (The Message)
I have strong opinions; but I’m not an activist. Mostly, I just imperfectly live my life under my interpretation of how Jesus lived. However, yesterday, I marched with thousands of others–7,000 in my city of Colorado Springs. Millions across the world marched. Some, maybe most, marched in hopes that our government will take notice of the importance of keeping civil liberties for all Americans. Some marched out of concern for health care, immigrants, social security. Some, probably most, marched because our current president scares the bejesus out of them.
Lots and lots of signs.
But the energy in the crowd was hopeful! I saw unity amidst diversity. I saw people that don’t align with some of my political, theological, and social views; but we were the United States of America in that moment.
I marched for several reasons:
- I marched because I’ve done much soul-searching about the 1860s and 1960s over my lifetime, and I always wondered on what side I would find myself–pro-civil rights, anti-civil rights, or just plain indifferent.
- I marched because I, and my government representatives, need reminding that I have a voice that this ‘government of the people, by the people, and for the people’ needs to hear.
- I marched because so many in the minority groups are scared and need to know there are those in the privileged class who are allies and willing to give up some of their privilege so that they can rise.
- I marched because orders already have been signed, and bills already have passed the House and are going before the Senate this week that sweepingly change aspects of our country, and most of us are not paying attention.
I haven’t paid attention.
That’s really why I marched. I needed see that this beautifully flawed country is made up of people from various perspectives. I marched with socialists, people who identify along the LGBT spectrum, atheists, Jews, Christians, and every other faith tradition, moms, dads, kids, grandparents, men, women, suburbanites, urbanites, homeless people, veterans, wealthy, poor, health-care providers, health-care users, every ethnicity in our city, able-bodied, ability-challenged, and some older people who remember their mothers voting for the first time.
I have forgotten our diversity, and am guilty of looking at things through my own narrow, limited view. For me, I hope this march was not just a moment. I hope I will continue with the movement to keep our government accountable.
So for any (and I’ve seen on Facebook that there are many) who don’t understand what these marches wanted to accomplish, you’re right that they didn’t change any legislation … yet. The goal was not a sprint to help people release some pent-up angst. The goal was to begin physical therapy so that those of us who have grown complacent can train for a marathon in keeping abreast of what our representatives are doing. The goal was to begin the long, difficult process of grafting in all the diverse people into a cohesive movement. Across the board, our dissatisfaction with Congress, the Senate, and our government leaders in general has escalated over the last 6 years. I will continue to speak with my vote. But it will not stop with just that action. I will also use my voice and my presence with the offices of my senators and representatives.
I encourage all of us to do the same. Whatever gives you passion. Whatever your perspective.
Whether or not others understand or agree, marching yesterday gave me life.
**I welcome comments! Please keep them respectful and constructive.**