Emotional Health · Politics

True North: Re-Affirming Your Values in a Time of Conflict

It will take more than the wearing of safety pins, and more than voting, it appears, to protect these people. It is now up to each of us to re-examine what kind of country we want to live in, and if we can’t count on our leaders to safeguard fundamental American rights and values, we will have to protect them ourselves, each of us in our own way.

Perhaps that is what is already happening, as multiple protests have erupted and petitions have been circulated in the past week. The election has sparked a new call to action, one that has helped us see the need to stay involved in the democratic process in an active way. If we are motivated and vigilant, and stay that way, it could be a path to fuel real change for the better. We can all help by reaffirming our true north, our core principles and making sure we live up to them. Discouraged as some of us may be, a gracious loser said last week in her concession speech, “please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”

True north is literally the fixed point on a compass against which all others are measured. It is non-negotiable, since the compass will show where it is, relative from your current position, and it will never change. There can be no capitulation to a “new normal” in which the bar gets lowered for bigotry and hatred in this country. Every citizen has a responsibility, now more than ever, to safeguard our vulnerable neighbors. After all, if we cannot count on our elected officials to do it, we must do it ourselves.

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  • Karen McLeod Cox November 17, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Thank you. This article may help me recover from my emotional devistation to the point where I can get out to fight another day…..and to fight for the rights of our most vulnerable.

  • Lisa November 17, 2016 at 11:34 am

    When I read ‘True North’ in your title, I was expecting to read something about Canadian values … the line from our national anthem is ‘the True North, strong and free.’ Stay strong, American friends. As our current Prime Minister’s father said back in the 60s, living next door to you ‘is like sleeping with an elephant.’ And try to have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Pauline November 17, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Thank you for writing about this. I think we all have to reaffirm our values and goals and try to stay grounded. Still, it will be harder for those groups that fear being targeted and we must do all we can to fight this and help them feel and be safe!