Our most honest ideas are often found in the ebb and flow of hatred and love. This weekend was less of a reaction to recent events, and more an act of self-recognition as a changing country. Acceptance, equality, and hope were the core characteristics demonstrated throughout streets across the globe.
I found myself in the middle of it all on my walk back from the Oculus in Lower Manhattan late Friday night. The scores of people flooding down 2nd Avenue lacked organization, but found strength in numbers. The crowd grew as the night progressed, frustrating the NYPD with their lack of direction, and sometimes cooperation.
The resistance was overflowing with young liberals advocating for women's rights, refugee acceptance, and climate change. At points, the overzealous chants turned dark and borderline unproductive, for the anti-Trump rhetoric proved to be a cheap and easy form of chant. But the cheer that dominated the night rang "this is what democracy looks like."
The sun then rose to a new day. A brighter, more highly anticipated day, and it did not disappoint. With crowd estimates surpassing 400 thousand, the enthusiasm for a more unified future was infectious.
There were many clever signs and catchy chants, but by far the most poignant and forthright message was wrapped up in two words. Imagine equality.
Yes, these demonstrations denounced our new administration, white supremacy and climate skepticism, but more so they demanded equality across all genders, faiths, races, and religions. It's now time to be curious, progressive, and determined, for to resist change is to be sedentary. In the ever changing social experiment that is America, our most important role as citizens is to learn to listen, evaluate, and then act on our informed beliefs.
We must build for a better tomorrow.