When I read the news that Donald Trump had won the 2016 presidential election, I felt a lot of emotions. These feelings reminded me strongly of several iconic moments throughout my own personal fandoms that I belong to, as well as various other works of fiction and non fiction that I’ve read during my lifetime. I thought it would be a good idea to look to those moments for encouragement, advice, and hope during what seems like an incredibly dark time for us.
Parks & Recreation
“Positive is always better than negative.” -Leslie Knope
Let’s start with a show that has some pretty strong parallels to what we’ve just witnessed here in America. If Ms. Knope taught us anything, it’s that in times like these, we need a plate full of waffles to start feeling better. When we get past the shock, we have to be changed by what’s happened here. We should be looking for and supporting (or becoming ourselves) the Leslie Knopes we want to see in the world. Get active in your local government. Go to those boring meetings. Listen to what others are concerned with. Care about those people. We can learn a lot from just being present and actually listening to everything that is happening around us right now.
“We do have a lot in common. The same air, the same Earth, the same sky. Maybe if we started looking at what’s the same instead of always looking at what’s different…well, who knows?” -Meowth
Will it be easy? No. But we have to remember we aren’t all bad. Good people voted for Clinton and good people voted for Trump for a variety of reasons. At the core, we all want to solve a lot of the same problems, we just have very different ways we want to achieve them. These condescending FB/Twitter debates serve no one. Get away from your computers and smart phones and get up and get to know the other side.
The Walking Dead
[SPOILER FROM RECENT EPISODE]
“Daryl.” -Daryl Dixon
Maybe it’s because I’m still emotionally wounded from the season premiere, but since Sundays episode, I have felt even more attachment to the characters who’ve grown and changed with this show. The growth of the character of Daryl especially has given me hope that the world will see that even people we might assume will never change can surprise us and become our allies and show their strength. Entertainment Weekly said “All Daryl had to do was pledge his loyalty by saying “I’m Negan” in exchange for avoiding further torture and instead becoming a top lieutenant in Negan’s army while getting all the perks and benefits that come with it. But when the time came to choose his fate, Daryl refused, citing his own name instead before being taken back to his cell.” Daryl gives me hope because I know that there are allies out there, just like Daryl, who will lay their lives down for what is right.
There are several quotes from Harry Potter that I’m going to list, but the entire book prepared us of what we are walking into. And that shows strength, patience, and perseverance against what seem like impossible odds.
“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” –The Goblet of Fire, Dumbledore
Both political parties are fractured right now. There are people who voted Hillary because they hated Trump and people who voted Trump because they hated Hillary more and there are people who voted 3rd party because they couldn’t justify voting out of hatred for either candidate. We can grieve for what we lost, but then we must stand together to reclaim it.
“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” –Sirius Black, The Goblet of Fire
Again, look around you. Watch how people treat you. Watch how people treat each other. Treat those around you the way you’d want to be treated under the same circumstances. And call out the misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, homophobic garage you hear and see. Don’t let anyone think it’s acceptable to bully just because of their “supposed” status.
The Hunger Games
“At first one, then another, then almost every member of the crowd touches the three middle fingers of their left hand to their lips and holds it out to me. It is an old and rarely used gesture of our district, occasionally seen at funerals. It means thanks, it means admiration, it means good-bye to someone you love.”
And then it came to mean something else. Strength. Courage. Hope. Unity. Let’s strive for those things with not just our words, but our actions.
And may the odds be ever in your favor.
By: Tiff Mertz
Wife. Mom. Coffee addict. Pokemon Master.
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