Women’s March – You Didn’t Have To Be There
BY CHERYL HARBOUR AND CHRISTINE CROSBY
“You are not an observer. You are a participant.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh (Princeton-educated global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist)
What was your view of the world on January 21?
Here at GRAND, like everywhere in the country, we have a diversity of views. So, it was that on January 21, 2017, some of us marched and some stayed home. We thought it would be fascinating to share views of the worldwide women’s marches from those two perspectives.
Maybe your view was like Christine’s. She saw the backs of thousands of women and men marching through city streets, pink hats bobbing in unison. She had a close-up view of signs that said everything from, “Now you’ve pissed off Grandma,” (waved by a 60-something) to “Never too young to respect women” (held by a young boy).
Here’s what Christine said about why she marched in D.C. and her experience on that day:
My husband and I drove 1,000 miles to D.C. Miraculously, given the crowd size of more than 500,000, we connected with my daughter and friends. The march linked in spirit with millions in 600 American cities and on every continent (yes, Antarctica!). It was a celebration of the values that always have been the source of America’s greatness, and a rejection of those extremists who seek to undermine those values.
We were there to be heard and to set an example for our grandkids.
We want them to understand that every American has freedom because someone’s grandmother or great-grandfather was willing to put it all on the line, at home and on the battlefield. Our grandchildren must value truth and integrity, lest they fall under the spell of a yammering demagogue.
The march was powerfully peaceful. We felt anger but it was no match for the sheer joy of being part of something so big, group made up of 80% women and 20% ‘men who get it’? One sign read, “So this is where the normal people are…”
And that’s who we are, if normal means believing the Golden Rule is not just for kids. If you think saving America is for you but don’t know what to do, start by turning off the fake news and join us in mainstream America.
Christine with husband Jonathan and daughter Tiffany Sharpe
Or, perhaps, like Cheryl, you were seeing the marches unfold on the split screen of your television – Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, Portland, Paris, London, Belgrade, Bangkok, Wichita, Kansas; Fairbanks, Alaska; Jonesborough, Tennessee. Almost everywhere.
David, can you crop out all background and photographer id at bottom on this image?
Caption: Cheryl Harbour, author of Good to be Grand – Making the most of your grandchild’s first year
Here’s what Cheryl reported:
Frankly, the size and scope and energy caught me off guard. Not until I observed it did I understand how much I wished I’d participated.
Some of the marches drew criticism because there wasn’t a single issue or focus. Yet the common ground, the message sent by an estimated 4-5 million people was, “We won’t stand by complacently. We’re going to be watching. If we disagree, you’ll hear about it. We’re going to participate, one way or another.”
The message was that, despite some divisions, there are millions of people all over the world who value respect, decency, and honesty – and they marched to show it because they couldn’t sit still.
We can all influence our grandchildren and help them see that politics doesn’t have to be a dirty word.
Multiple generations marched together: fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, grandparents and grandchildren. An older couple “marched” — with the husband in a wheelchair and his wife on his lap, carrying a sign that said “Peace and Justice for All.”
At GRAND, those who marched and those who didn’t agreed on this: We can all influence our grandchildren and help them see that politics doesn’t have to be a dirty word. Government is not something someone else does. We can be role models. We can become informed. We can listen to other people, even when they don’t agree with us. We can speak up; we can march; we can make a difference in the world.
As grandparents, we have a hand in teaching our grandchildren that they can determine what kind of world they will inhabit. They can PARTICIPATE.