I’ve been conflicted about a number of things lately. One thing is where America and the world are headed in terms of our values and policies.
I was stunned when I learned that someone who openly bragged about assaulting women was elected the president of what was once considered the most powerful nation in the world. But at the same time it reaffirmed a lot of my beliefs about how resistant many people (both men and women) are to allowing a woman to be in charge — even when she’s the most qualified and sane candidate.
So when details about the Women’s March were announced, I was encouraged. I wasn’t sure if I’d make the trip myself, but I was sure to lend my support.
The night before the Women’s March in DC something told me that I needed to go. I prayed for guidance on whether I should go and eventually decided it was a MUST that I go.
I decided to drive down and since it was so last minute I was on my own. The first indication I had that the Women’s March was going to be a big deal was when I stopped at a rest stop for gas headed for DC and it was JAM PACKED with women, buses and lines.
When I finally arrived at my destination, a garage where I could catch the train into the city, it was sold out — no spaces. I started to panic a little, hoping I wouldn’t have to search for parking for half the day, but thankfully a parking attendant recommended that I try another garage. There were spaces available — yes!
When I parked and got on the train, I was met with more enthusiastic and energetic women who had the same goal as I had — to make it downtown to the March. I sat next to a young lady and struck up a conversation with her. Yes, she was going to the March and was meeting a friend. The train was soon packed with women headed there.
When we finally arrived at our destination, I believe it was Union Square, I was immediately in the thick of the action. I walked with a group of women toward the main stage which I think was the Capitol. They chanted, pumped their fists in the air and held up signs. Despite their intense energy they were extremely polite and respectful.
You see, this is what I love about women. We can be ready for a fight and still show respect and deference for others. My whole time at the Women’s March, I felt safe, protected and encouraged.
I took pictures of various signs and scenes. I wasn’t able to make it to the main stage because again it was PACKED, but I got a good view of what really makes America beautiful. Freedom of speech and expression. Women making sure that their voices were heard, just like the courageous suffragettes before them.
On my way back to the train, I saw a sign that embodies what I think is one of the most important takeaways from this event. It read “We Are the Leaders We’ve Been Looking For.”
If you don’t like how things are going in your part of the world, whether it be your country, state or town, you can choose to be the leader you want. Consider running for anything from PTA President to councilwoman to mayor or more. The main thing that holds us back is our belief that we can’t do it, so we don’t even try. If you have an interest in being a leader in your community, now is the time to start taking action. Just do it.
Lynn Gilliard is an author and blogger. Her new book You Matter encourages women to know and understand their worth. She is also the author of a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.