Many of us are still feeling the effects of Tuesday’s unexpected upset election of Donald Trump. It took us all by surprise and a lot of people I’ve spoken with are experiencing a great deal of fear and anxiety.
I’ve been the Community Manager of Arlington Entrepreneurs since its inception in 2008. I have a great deal of respect and love for all of you. We will get through this, although some very difficult times lie ahead.
I’m sure I’m also addressing Trump supporters in this letter and I mean no disrespect. In fact, I would like to offer you my congratulations, in what must have felt like a miracle in the face of official punditry predicting a landslide for Hilary Clinton.
We have some healing to do, and some reconciliation on both sides. I’ll admit I’m a left-leaning liberal progressive and I’m feeling the same pain and fear that a lot of you have expressed, either online or in person. I think we all need each other right now and I’d like to offer a space for that to happen. My time is limited, of course, as is yours but these times require some additional sacrifices. I’m going to therefore do the following:
1. I will be at Kickstand Cafe tomorrow from 2 – 4 pm. I’ll put out the Arlington Entrepreneurs sign and invite you to come together for some company and consolation (goodness knows I could use some of that myself!). I’ll put out the invitation via Facebook, the AE website and Eventbrite. You don’t have to be a member of AE to come. I don’t care about your party affiliation or voting record. Please be respectful of each other and avoid political fights at this event.
2. I have just created a “Come Together and Heal” group on the Arlington Entrepreneurs website. I will add some articles, videos and other materials to help get you/us through these challenging days. Let me know if you have trouble logging into the site or if you have anything of yours to share.
3. I would like welcome all of you to my home this Friday evening, for a simple meal and whatever activities offer support and a way forward. I will post this to Facebook and the AE website. I’m not religious, but I know that prayer is a consolation to many of us. If you have a religious tradition to share – Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan, whatever – please bring something to read or reflect on. If you are a wellness provider, please consider offering some of your services: chair massage, meditation, exercise, deep breathing or referrals to counseling if that’s necessary. Writers and poets, please feel free to distribute your work.
I hope this helps the long, healing journey and the work that lies ahead, especially for women, communities of color, the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities and immigrants. Last night I heard a teacher say that her second grade students were afraid that “Mr. Trump” would send them back to Africa if he were elected. We need to protect our children, too. Again, I mean no disrespect if you’re not represented in the above list.
I hope this helps. In the meantime, let’s get on with life and do what we need to do to face some inevitable, unexpected, changes.
Margy Rydzynski, Community Manager