Friday, November 11, 2016

Puppy Birthday Giveaway Preparation Post: The US election and how it leads to the giveaway

This was going to be a post about asking for help with my puppy giveaway. The US election has turned it upside-down so while I will still hold the giveaway but I will do something different. I've written this post several times and I hope I do make some sense. Also the election is why I've gone a bit MIA. Will try to come back but I may need more time to process. Also apologies to those that don't like to talk politics. I usually don't, but I did think it was necessary to give some things a voice. I also apologize for the length.

The US Presidential Election

Because people's emotions are so high, I've seen several calls for respectful disagreement. I agree with this. Unfortunately, I've also seen it used as a way to shut people up. Speaking to those that have used it that way and just want people to calm down and stop talking, you have to listen to the pain, the hurt and the fear before you can even start to change it. Yes, that is actually for both sides. It doesn't mean agreement but how else could we know what direction to take to get people to calm down? How else would we understand what road to take to change? Let me make this clear, this doesn't mean you have to tolerate hate. I do have one example where at least one person tries to start a real dialog in a real way. Take a moment to check out these videos if you like. It is Van Jones going into Gettysburg to talk to people with various affiliations but mainly Trump leanings. No one ends up agreeing but in a very small way some find a little common ground. It doesn't solve anything, but what becomes clear to me is that what is needed is mutual respect for the other and people need to hear the other's fear. Everyone is seems fearful. All are about 10 min and while there were no great epiphanies save one: we can still converse civilly.

The Messy Truth
All videos on his blog (go from the bottom to the top to get them in order) HERE

Please don't advocate for silence in this issue(s). I also think I and others should have the space to say why we are scared with this outcome as long as this is also done with respect. Remember respect does not equal agreement but does treat people as human. I believe we MUST acknowledge what harmful things have been happening both in the past and right after the election. To ignore it we go backwards and I refuse to do that. Hatred thrives in the dark where people refuse to acknowledge it exists. Also to those that have experienced more hatred of late, know that there are people who have your back. Who know this is wrong. For those that haven't experienced it, please pay attention. Do not be willfully ignorant at what is going on. Pay attention to everything. Listen. The fact that the whole presidential race was fought with Trump speaking with  misogynist and racist and hateful promises, speech, and horrible historical comparisons should also never be ignored. We need to acknowledge that his presidential race has already hurt people.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

I've never been scared with an outcome from a US election. This election was the exception. Several things scare me but what scares me the most (and for the sake of brevity I'll only mention 2) is something I just spoke about. The fact that hate groups now have a solid and open foothold for political legitimacy again. However there is an easy way to combat this. Vote. There is one fact that people don't recognize: Politicians do not pay attention to "the people" they pay attention to voters. This is how groups get power. This is why it is important to VOTE in EVERY election from here on out. You need to make your voice louder than these groups. This is how to fight this now. VOTE. The presidential election is not the only important election out there.

Another scare turned reality? The downfall of the ACA. Not to get into details but this program has literally saved my life and others and has helped thousands of people no matter how you feel about it.  Yes, I am quite aware of the problems within the ACA and so we need to FIX it not eliminate it. I'm hoping there will be something reasonable in it's place, but I'm not hopeful. I've seen what so far has been suggested in taking it's place (and I'm not talking about the "best plan" but ones that actually have merit and also why I call for fixing it not eliminating it) and it does not compare nor cover everyone currently helped by the ACA. I have never felt confident that I would be able to keep this program since it has been constantly under attack and I was always aware that this may happen at some point, but I just hoped it wouldn't be so soon. And to be honest, I'm not so sure if  I'm scared at this point but resigned.

The Positives

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
Maya Angelou
I hope you agree that these are positive things happening and please feel free to add more in the comments. The reason I felt I needed to list these is because if all you see is negative you are less likely to do something to change it. By seeing something positive, you know you aren't alone and you know that there is still good to be preserved. Perhaps know that there is something you can do no matter how small. This isn't a "here is some positives so shut it", but "here is some positives so go out and create some of your own". 
  • There has been people recognizing that there will be people who will feel forgotten once again, maligned and in physical danger. This is important to those who feel invisible in this country. It also hasn't happened on this scale before.
  • These people are reaching out to others and are encouraging everyone to do the same. I am not listing groups of people as others have since I would eventually miss important groups by mistake. You don't need a list, just go out and reach out. I'm trying to do that here.
  • Women have found their voice about sexual assault and are speaking up in record numbers. One conversation that caught my attention was on twitter about the FIRST time as a female you were groped. I think it is an important distinction that it doesn't say if or when but first. It shows how much prevalence there is in this type of sexual assault. Btw, I think I was around 9 or 10 years old. 
  • I don't believe that we will go back to these hate groups in having the power they once had. I think this is more of a wake up call for a lot of people. Hate will NOT win but it has awoken people to reality.
  • The anger of good people speaking out about why this is wrong, how it affects their self and others. Yes, anger can be a good thing.
  • Things like this actually can create opportunity and bring factions of people closer together in the face of hatred. I've seen it in every situation in recent history. I've already seen it with what I've already stated.
  • Those that have power are lending their voice to those that have less. 
  • More people are paying attention. Know that what is going on is nothing new. People have been dealing with this kind of hate all along and have survived. This kind of hate cannot continue as long as there is light and knowledge shined on what is going on.
  • There are people currently formulating plans on what to do to make the world around them better for as may people possible. Like I said, I think we were just handed a wake up call.
And this leads me to my determination to not let the negatives get the better of me and I decided to go ahead with...


Yea, I think I need to see good things. This isn't about "getting over it" but being proactive about change. In the past I usually I have people do something for animals. It could be money, time or  supplies, but it could have also been a simple form of kindness given to that animal or it's people. Check out what people did in years past (link). This year I think I'll extend it to everyone. This means any kindness extended to anyone on the planet (animal OR human). I think we all need to see some kindness. Reading what people have done always helps me when I'm getting a bit of the blues during this time. I think we all can use some kindness no matter who you voted for and don't forget those around the world. The prize will unfortunately be US only (postage... ugh) and will be something that I've made. Hope you will like it. It's not a huge prize (I wish it could be bigger) but I just wanted to do something fun that recognizes what things you can do for others. If you would like to help, let me know. There are so many good organizations out there that need some attention (check out the link list in the animal links tab under the header). 

Yes, what I'm doing here is very small. What I'm doing here may even be insignificant in the scheme of the whole.... however, it is what I can do at the moment, so I will. 

No matter what, please just do a kindness to another. We need it now.

The giveaway will officially start in Dec and I'll make a post with the details.

ðŸū

45 comments:

  1. I've been donating supplies to shelters using Amazon wishlists. It's an easy one click way to help.

    {hugs} for doing this Melissa

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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  2. Love this post so much Melissa! Our local supermarket has donation bins for a local cat rescue so when I buy for Piper I buy a little extra for the bins too. Love the idea of the Amazon wishlist though.

    I just looked and my local SPCA has one...going to do that this holiday! Thanks for the heads up Karen!

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    1. Thanks! Sounds great. Don't forget that this one now extends to everyone on the planet. We need to start reaching out more.

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing this Melissa! Love it! Have a wonderful weekend!!

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  4. I don't mind that this is a political post.
    Election night was hard on my family and as the days pass I don't know if it's getting better. I want to believe that it will be okay, but I won't lie - I am scared. I don't know what this says about the state of this country that the electorial college voted in a sexist, racist, bigot in the events that were already happening in this country. We had so much hate in the past few years and we elect the one person who already done so much damage on that level that at this point it's going to take years to recover from. I don't feel like we made a move forward, but we did take a HUGE step back. People are scared. Protests are happening and it's going to get worse before it get's better. It always does, unfortunately. The worse part? The people who voted for him, a large % said they don't even trust him, and don't even like them, but they voted for him. I don't know how to reply to that?
    Also.. a lot don't know anything about the VP-elect and what he stands for.

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    1. ((HUGS)) Thanks for this! One of the biggest obstacles we seem to have had is recognition of everything you said. I've seen more of this so take that as a good thing and that more people are waking up. Hold on to that good.

      Btw, don't google the VP. I have a feeling you won't like what you find.

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    2. oh my husband and I googled the VP the moment he was announced. His track record is so horrid I am afraid of what will happen not only to women's rights but anyone who isn't straight or christian :( I was so upset because I live in one of the swing states and someone that we know decided not to vote for the "lesser of the two evils" and voted for Jill Stein instead - and he is part of the LGBTQ community. Unfortunately, not sure Jill Stein will be fighting for his rights.

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    3. I think you are right. The third party candidates weren't examined closely enough by enough people. I don't think Stein would either.

      Okay, now don't google his appointees... ;) I already know of one really bad choice and I'm only saying to not google for your sanity.

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  5. Wonderful post, Melissa! I'm definitely scared about the results of this election and I welcome people sharing their fears, their stories, their sadness, and anger. I have people in my life who voted both ways and I feel like a lot of people that did (or probably did) vote for Trump are now telling people to calm down, stop talking politics, etc. and I hate that. You can vote however you want but you MUST listen to people. They have legitimate reasons to be scared or to want change and you can't tell them to silence themselves or you are part of the problem.

    -Lauren

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    1. I've even seen the calm down statement from the both sides of the argument unfortunately.You are right, we must start listening.

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  6. You are a wise, beautiful soul! <3
    I'm 59 and old enough to remember the struggle thru the 70'a for better treatment of the planets, womens & minority rights, etc. I feel like we just turned back the clock 100 years :( But, if there IS anything I've learned over the decades is that the Pendulum of Society swings back and forth - over and over- at all times. Rights given can be just as quickly undone, and complacency is the death of progress. We need to remember that love & respect for all life is the only hope for a better future <3

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    1. Aw thanks! You are one as well!

      I agree, it will swing back and you are perfectly right about the death of progress. I hope we at least start with a listen... and on the other side of that, actually talk and not rapid fire talking points.

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  7. Lovely post Melissa. We make donations through several organizations and i have my amazon wish going to local animal shelter <3
    I want my grandchildren to grow up in a world where everyone is treated equal and with respect. It saddens me to see our nation so divided.

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    1. Aw thanks! Love that Amazon thing! :)

      I hope for it as well and will hope for it until I die. I think we also need to show each other that we care even if we don't agree.

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  8. Good luck girl, it's quite complicated. It's great that you do so much!

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    1. Aw thanks. In a way it is quite simple as well and I think that is why it hurts.

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  9. You are stirring up my emotions again, girl. I have been scarce on social media - posting my blog links and saying hello, but not reading and not engaging. There is so much hate, I just can't do it anymore for my own wellbeing. Your post is so eloquent (You also say the things I'm thinking in such a great way).

    I am trying to be a beacon of light and an example of kindness and love. Here is a small example that rocked me... I was heading into the grocery store on Thursday morning. I saw an elderly woman struggling to put her groceries in her car, so I stopped and helped her. I didn't think anything of it because it's what anyone should do. But then another woman came up and thanked me and said to the woman I was helping "See that, there are still kind and good people in the world." I totally choked up... the fact that I did something so small that every and anyone SHOULD have done, but they just don't.

    The stories starting to spread about election-related hate. It hurts. This is my fear come true. I had such anxiety coming into the election, and for the first time ever, I cried over an election. I have been praying more than ever for calm minds and peaceful hearts. *HUGS*

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    1. Thanks. I'm still trying to process. I am also thinking about doing another post so be forewarned. :) Thank you also for helping in any way.

      My fear hasn't started yet... it has only just begun. :( The hate has always been there, but so has kindness. People have always experienced both. So feed the one you wish to see in the world. ((HUGS))

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  10. Thank your for sharing your thoughts and feelings in this post, Melissa. It's alway nice to share thoughts and concerns like these. I hope you enjoy your weekend :)

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  11. I have been upset since Election night and I am scared to death. This has caused a big division in part of my family with close family members and I am heartsick. Instead of getting better as the days go, it's getting much worse. When I read something from a Trump person online telling us to calm down and stop being cry babies it goes right through me. But when someone like you, that understands, writes what you have it is pretty perfect. Thank you for all that you said and for saying what I am thinking. It's a scary world that we live in even before this happened.

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    1. Thank you.

      I do want to say more but I really do need to calm a bit before I say it. :) Although it isn't the same kind of compliance the supporter you are talking about will get. ;)

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  12. You say it so well, I should write more, but sigh, it's scary and sad

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  13. The election has been created a trying time to say the least. My initial reaction was terror. Fear for my friends and my family and my loved ones. But, as time has gone on, I realized I can do better than that. It's happened, now maybe I can do something to help. I've been focused on using my strength in words to rope people in and get them to understand just WHY people are so afraid and that many aren't reacting 'just because their opponent won'

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    1. Remember you can invite someone to the table, but you can't make them sit. Thank you for speaking up.

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  14. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Melissa. I've been scare on social media as well. And I, too, am scared. But I gave myself a day to mope and then got up the next day determined to be the best me I can be, do what I can to affect the change I want to see in our country and the world. What I can accomplish is small as well, but every small thing adds up, right? I have to believe hate WILL NOT win.

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    1. I so agree. Even the smallest action can have a big consequence. :) Thank you.

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  15. Not particularly a political animal myself - and especially not when it comes to the politics of other countries. However, a horrendous year in which darkness and hatred seem to have prevailed, its so nice to see a glimpse of light.

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    1. I try not to be overwhelming in my views, but I will not back down either. Sorry you have had to deal with the same thing in your country. :(

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  16. This is a great post for these uncertain times. Thank you.

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  17. So I am still processing. I have no idea what my feelings are today. Some days are better than others but it is still so RAW!

    I am not entering but I am stepping up my game. I am going to get involved with the local branch to get out the word about 2018. I am donating time to Women's Shelters and money to Planned Parenthood.

    (((((((((((((((( hugs ))))))))))))

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    1. Well... the giveaway isn't until Dec and right now I'm still processing myself. I'm on fury today so I thought it best to give myself a bit more time. So, you might want to mention these things again in the official post so that people can see what can be done. Thanks for being an active participant in the process. ((HUGS))

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  18. Sending lots of love & hugs for you guys *hugs*

    Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

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  19. The election has left the world in a little shock... two very controversial candidates. We can only be who we are and hold on for the interesting ride that is to come. We've had our own share of political drama down here in Aus over the past few years...

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    1. Yea, it does seem like some of the same issues are surrounding the globe. :(

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  20. Excellent post! I'm on a self imposed hiatus from social media post election. I still have a lot of mixed emotions where diversity is concerned. I'm working on a kindness project with my students at school to show support, solidarity, and unity despite the vitriol is happening outside.

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    1. Beautiful! I bet you are making them feel a bit safer.

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  21. This is a great idea. I love this contest you're doing. I think so much needs to be done in way of kindness. {{hugs}}

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

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