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Some words of encouragement

author: john loeppky, annie trussler, samara stearns, marty grande-sherbert | op-ed editor, sports editor, contributors 

Credit: svenwerk via Flickr

“You have a voice that is strong that will be heard and supported by like-minded people in your community. Get as involved as you can. There may be a general fear of the future, but stay strong.”

One word: Listen. Listen to those who may disagree with you. Piling our heads into the sand and forgetting people’s humanity is how we got drawn into this storm in the first place. Listen to those who you agree with. Remember why you are fighting for your beliefs in the first place. Listen to those who are informed in ways you may not be. Listen when you are lied to, which will become commonplace. Most of all, listen to those who love you, who remind you why you will keep that head of yours high. You can’t fight without seeing what you’re fighting for. Oh, and hold onto this feeling of resolve; you’ll need it. – John Loeppky

I try not to think about the things I’m afraid of all that much. Spending too much time dwelling on your fears only makes them larger, and it’s much easier to face a small shadow than a large one; however, this shadow has grown impossibly large, spanning America, now the globe. This shadow is all consuming, violent, and cruel. This shadow hopes people like me, like you, like everyone disadvantaged and afraid of different shadows, will retreat into the darkness. That’s the thing: shadows and darkness are products of the light, and if we venture through that darkness, through those shadows, we can own the light, tenfold. Evil will not take light from us, and it will not take love. – Annie Trussler

Surround yourself with people who support you and make you feel safe. Stand up for what you believe in. Stay strong. There is a lot that you can do in your community – you are not powerless. You have a voice that is strong that will be heard and supported by like-minded people in your community. Get as involved as you can. There may be a general fear of the future, but stay strong. – Samara Stearns

I have found that the greatest antidote to fear and oppression is love and solidarity. You may not be able to overturn the entire world in a day, but you can reach out to your Muslim friends, your black friends, your Mexican friends, your friends with disabilities, your LGBTQ+ friends – in many cases, these people may be your family, as well – and you can ask them: how are you doing? Tell them: I have your back. And most importantly, you can stand up for them, and for any other unnamed human being who is put down, marginalized, or threatened.

With every day that passes, it is more and more crucial, even healthy, to take action where there is wrongdoing: to go to protests, to amplify the voices of activists in the Black Lives Matter movement, and in the Indigenous-led fight against big oil. We must examine where in our own minds there exists the harmful influence of classism, white supremacy, cis- and heterosexism. Dr. King’s birthday is just days behind us, and I feel it appropriate to share these words of his that keep me hopeful: “How long will justice be crucified, and truth bear it? I come to say to you this afternoon, however difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour, it will not be long, because truth crushed to earth will rise again. How long? Not long, because no lie can live forever.” — Marty Grande Sherbert

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