It has been quite a week for the United States. In the last ten days we have inaugurated a new President, hosted an incredible Women's March, faced some pretty big punches in the climate change area, had the DAPL approved despite the Standing Rock protests, and have been introduced to new policy changes that provoke varying reactions across the country.
Big change and big action can be very overwhelming and scary. Everyone around the country feels the divide that we face right now, no matter our specific partisanship or beliefs. It is really easy in times of uncertainty to succumb to hate and violence or to become incredibly frustrated by what we see. While that might be the natural reaction, it seems to me that there are better options for us moving forward. Instead of fear, we must rely on hope. Instead of surrendering to our weaknesses, we must find our inner strengths. Rather than expand the isolation we feel, we must unify as one Nation who has common goals and dreams. Lastly, rather than turning to hate... we must turn to love.
Of course, these things are easier said than done. Nevertheless, we see this hope, strength, unity, and love in our Women's March on January 21. As expected, there were definitely a select few that decided to utilize this event as an excuse to be hateful or angry. The vast majority, though, simply used this day as an opportunity to show the power that we have in numbers, the importance of supporting each other, and the appreciation we should have for our democracy that allows us the freedoms necessary to march. It is events like these that should give us hope moving forward. When we feel deeply about issues regarding the equality of human beings or whatever else people decided was worth marching for, it is crucial that we act upon these emotions and turn them into something positive and productive.
As environmental activists and ocean lovers, the punches thrown toward climate change and its legitimacy are alarming to say the least. The climate change page being taken off whitehouse.gov sends a loud and clear message that it isn't a topic of importance to our government. The truth of the matter is, our climate and the environment that we live in directly correlate with the health, prosperity, and lives of our citizens. Call me crazy, but that certainly sounds like the type of issues that may concern the government, the institution "of the people, by the people, for the people." I do not know how to say this any other way: climate change IS real, there is no longer a debate on that subject, and we must act now if we want our Earth to suffer as little as possible. It is now up to us to stand up for sustainable energy, clean water, less pollutants, sustainable harvesting, and overall a healthy ocean.
Another event that has filled me with optimism is the organization of a March for Science. If you haven't heard already, this march is filled with scientists and activists who will not stand by and let people brush aside the problems we face in regards to the climate. What I love about this organization effort is that it emphasizes nonpartisanship in science, and unifies people of all political beliefs to come together for a common goal. Science is based on facts, not opinions. It should not be something that is split up by gender, race, belief systems, or anything else of the sort. It is something we can all stand behind and care about. This Earth that we live on is is something that we all have in common no matter where we come from or what we stand for. It is critical that we take these opportunities to educate the U.S. and all countries across the world about these matters and why they should be a priority to each and every one of us.
The point is: we shouldn't be letting our political beliefs divide us. We clearly have the capacity to unify and fight for what we believe in, and we all have the ability to hear others out and respect their opinions. At Save the Mermaids, we believe that we are all brothers and sisters of the sea. We feel love and compassion for all of you, no matter whether you agree or disagree with us. It is the way we go about these differences that defines how we will function as a nation, and that will ultimately decide the fate of our environment. We hope that we can all find the hope and strength necessary in order to unify through love rather than hate.