3 WAYS TO COPE WITH TRUMP
by Dimitri Ehrlich
More than half of America is feeling traumatized. Those of us who have been posting repeatedly about the bad things that are unfolding are doing so because we are freaked out. Everyone who cares about science, rationality, women's rights, minority people's rights, and basic common decency--we are all shitting in our pants. And for good reason.
Right now, it feels like there isn't much we can do, what with the senate and congress and White House all in the hands of those who prefer corporate profit to protecting the environment. We literally have a team of racists in the new cabinet. There have been over 300 documented hate crimes in one week since Trump was elected.
So what can we do? Once you realize how cold Canada is most of the year, here are three simple suggestions for coping:
1. RADICAL KINDNESS
One small thing I have been trying to practice is reaching out to strangers and being extra friendly and kind and gentle and making eye contact and smiling. This may seem tiny, but I live in New York where even on a day without any meetings, I interact with dozens of people on the street. From homeless dudes to billionaire bankers, LGBT, white, black, hispanic, Asian--I step out my front door and all of America is there.
So while we can't necessarily prevent some catastrophic policy changes at this moment (including repeal of Roe V Wade, 25 million Americans losing their health insurance, America pulling out of the best climate deal ever signed, and many other terrible things Trump will do) we can control our own minds. And we can radiate to our immediate circle a sense of the opposite of what Trump stands for. We can be kind. We can show an extra little bit of patience. (Small example, but yesterday a homeless guy admired my shirt so I took it off and gave it to him. I don't share this to spotlight my small gesture but to remember we can only respond to this crisis with big-heartedness and love.)
It does make a difference even if we have to do it one person at a time, we can all turn back this tide of negativity and hatred. Because truth is stronger than fear. Also that shirt was my brothers' and it was too big for me.
2. PICK UP THE PHONE
Call your congressman and senator and the mayor and governor and let them know you are not happy with what's going on. Call republican senators and congressmen. Tell them they will lose your vote if they blindly support Trump. (Don't mention the fact that you were never going to vote for them anyway.)
3. REMEMBER HUMOR
I once read about some people who protested at a Klan rally by hiring a mariachi band. We have to be skillful and part of that might be having a sense of humor. It's also good for your health: every time you laugh, your diaphragm plunges down and you breathe deeply. Thanks to Stephen Colbert, I know that the letters that spell TRUMP TOWER can also be arranged to spell the words RECTAL PUMP. Keep this in mind.