lady-libertyAlthough there are, of course, millions of Americans (and, it seems, plenty of Russians) who are looking forward to the January 20 inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States, millions more are lamenting the day, cringing at the thought of the most unpopular President-Elect in U.S. history taking over the White House.

Civil rights advocates, women’s rights advocates, LGBTQ rights advocates … there is a mighty long list of people who are, shall we say, unhappy (at best) or downright scared out of their wits (at worst) about the next four years. Watching DJT make his way down Pennsylvania Avenue is not an enticing prospect. Inauguration Day promises to be a tense one for a lot of Americans.

But it doesn’t have to be all bad.

A number of groups are hosting events designed to showcase tolerance and togetherness and kindness on Inauguration Day, rethinking the proceedings and remaking January 20 into a day to do some good. Protests, rallies, and concerts will be held across the country. Groups are banding together to perform random acts of kindness. Millions will be celebrating our similarities rather than highlighting our differences. A whole lotta people will be working hard to lift each other up.

These events include:

Some of these events will be full of activists, some will be full of acts of kindness, some will be full of togetherness. Either way, there are options available for people around the country who are sad or angry or fearful about Trump and the Trumpsters and what the next four years might bring.

Lest we get wrapped up in anger, hate, and fear—which is in large part one cause of the divisive discourse we have become mired in—let’s focus on doing good, on practicing kindness, and lifting people up.

This is something any of us, all of us, each of us can do. At minimum, we could refrain from intentionally hurting people and snarking at each other on social media. We could swallow our hurt and anger and fear and wish the best to Trump and the Trumpsters and tell those who voted for him that we truly do wish them the best. We could spend at least part of the day—even just a few minutes—in focusing on kindness and generosity. Maybe that means being a mystery messenger and spreading kind words by leaving nice notes on car windshields. Maybe that means dropping off some pizzas or doughnuts at your local fire or police station. Maybe that means spending the day volunteering for a local organization—PADS or Salvation Army or whatever.

join-handsLet’s turn the tables on Trump. Let’s rethink Inauguration Day 2017 and make it a day full of kindness and goodness and generosity. Let’s not get mired in dysfunction or depression or dejectedness. Instead, let’s lift each other up—in ways large and small.

Rethinking Inauguration Day by doing some good and spreading acts of kindness and lifting people up: This is pretty easy, a simple way to reject all the hate and fear and anger that pervades our politics and, sadly, got us to where we are today.

I vow to do this. In fact, I can’t wait to do this! It’s pretty easy—and kind of silly and fun—to leave notes in lockers at my local fitness center (e.g., “you are fierce! ) or in books at my favorite bookstore (e.g., “you are fabulous! ) … who knows where some nice notes might pop up on Friday, January 20. Easy peasy!

Will you join me?

—Kelli

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