One Step Forward, Do Not Stop

Susan and Sharon at the March on Asheville

It’s difficult to offer praise that hasn’t already been voiced for the January 21 Women’s March for Democracy in Asheville and elsewhere around the world. My dear friend, Andrea Gould, captured my own feelings so well responding to her experience across the continent in Tucson, AZ. I share them here.


Late afternoon now, and for me tears of joy and relief keep welling up in waves through this day. To experience this impressive gathering of energy from all directions, all colors and kinds– an exponential equation of diversity. The faces of passion and compassion fan out in a fluid and focused spectrum of humanity.


I am filled like a giant sponge with the positivity shared among the throngs.In Tucson, my home, over ten thousand human beings arrive despite the stormy uncertainty of rain and wind.  We gather, we march and twist through the avenues to re-assemble again in our library plaza. We are inspired by the speakers who stand and speak our dreams, envision our future, ignite our caring and commitment to one another.I’m fully aware that this scene is duplicated in cities throughout the world.


Surely it feels no different to be in Boston, Washington or LA. In Chicago or New York, in London or Berlin. Putting myself in the place of the children, empathizing with their awe and wondering how they will recall this day– so trustfully enveloped in a copious assortment of people. One father calls it The Bay of Tucson when his small daughter asks “Daddy, is everyone in the world here?” What a way to sense her world!


Unforgettable to be a part of this, a day motivating millions to simply show up and be counted based in reason and resonance.  Despite the multiplicity of missions, we stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity while the clouds burst, the winds rush, the sun shines and the chanting surrounds us stridently as we march.Soulfully satisfied, I will savor this uprising forever.


Andrea S. Gould Ph.D.
Igniting Inspiration in PrimeTime Women


Remember, we don’t live in a democracy. We live in a Constitutional Republic. The influence we exert must be on our elected representatives. Public demonstration is not enough to change the law, and we are (supposedly) a nation based on law, right up to the Supreme Court. Yes, it will be a hard road the next few years, but our legislators and many judges rely on the popular vote. Let’s help them remember that those of us who support diversity, justice, and the environment are more than half their voting base.

Let’s find the special role for elders in this critical time for the young people and our struggling planet. Let’s learn to influence those we differ from with language that moves them – that means overcoming our own bias and learning a new language, because they can’t understand a word we’ve been saying.

Let’s gather somehow on a regular basis, person to person or through electronic media, with those who validate and uplift our spirits. Let’s watch only enough of the national news that allows us to remain awake and action-oriented, but not overly agitated. Focus on making your local community an inclusive and resilient community. In North Carolina that means we have to plan and execute strategic action to destruct gerrymandering, encourage access to quality healthcare, and protect our water and air.

Be well and remain faithful to your heart path. Feel with me our connectedness with all beings. Love builds peace.