President elect Donald J. Trump. As the days have turned into weeks, I am still trying to make sense of what took place. The imposing impact to my fellow citizens, neighbors and global community has been registering in waves. Instead of venting issue by issue on what I find so alarming about the new American chapter opening this year, I want share a few thoughts on what matters most to me now. What comes next.
One of the strongest emotions I have felt over the last few weeks is anger. An anger at the glaring injustice, environmental death wish and clear departure from common values we share. But if I am honest the truest anger I feel is with myself. For me the unfolding events leading up to and following this election have been a clear wake up call. For too long now I have assumed a certain sense of progress, the kind of assumption that comes from growing up in a world with great advances built on the unseen sacrifice of millions that have come before me. Now more than ever I am redoubling my efforts to be a part of the kind of progress I say I believe in.
As a filmmaker that means recommitting myself to the art and practice of telling stories that invite more hope filled action (more on that very soon). I feel a new hunger to shine a light on injustice, to challenge those in power and to give a voice to those who often remain voiceless. My words now must be met by actions. And not just alone. I must find new ways to join with other like-minded people in organizing around the issues facing us all. Because this has and always will be the way we shape our world.
As I travel and spend time with people all over this country what continues to strike me is how much we do agree on. Millions of us across party lines feel overworked, underpaid, ill-informed and untrusting of power. We sense systemic corruption, and a corporate buy out of our shared life together. There has never been more reason to give up and look away but I implore you to lean in now more then ever before. We need new ideas and better questions, we need solutions and the grit to stand up against the status quo. We need you.
This democratic experiment was built on the belief that we are building something together. That the needs of the many should outweigh the desires of the few and that sacrifice is one of the key ingredients of all real and lasting freedom. And that freedom is still at the heart of the underutilized opportunity before each and every one of us today. We are free to act. Free to speak up and stand up. Free to criticize but also free to create. Do not let your anger fuel the same kind of hate you stand against, use it instead to fuel a compassionate rage, dogmatic open-mindedness and relentless action.
May we each in our own way choose a path towards greater empathy and action as we remember that darkness is nothing more than the absence of light and history is made in moments just like these. This is not the end of our long march forward, in fact it may be remembered as a new beginning. An invitation to begin again making the kind of future we actually want and the one we so desperately need.