It was what seemed like a calm, pleasant Saturday evening on October 6 when I got the notification on my phone: “Brett Kavanaugh has been appointed as the 114th Supreme Court Justice of the United States.” The man that I, as well as thousands of others, know is not fit to hold the kind of power that comes with the position – the power responsible for creating the environment in which all Americans live – had just been approved by Congress. This was not the first blow by the government and it surely will not be the last. Although I was hit with several different emotions in that moment – from sadness to rage – the thing that hit me the hardest was an overwhelming sense of defeat.
As a young person and as a woman trying to make change in our country, it can feel as though I am up against everything. For every two steps that are taken forward, it seems as though we, as a country, take three steps back. It can be difficult to stay positive in that environment and I cannot help but feel disheartened every time I look at a national news story, even those that report victory.
With that being said, we cannot just pull the covers up over our heads and pretend that everything is okay. It would be extremely detrimental to turn the other cheek and ignore the things that are happening politically, socially, financially, and environmentally in the United States as well as all over the world. No matter what political party, religious group, or financial class we are in, we have a responsibility to keep moving, keep pushing for equal rights, keep demanding a safer, more just world. We are the change that is coming, we are the ones who have the ability to transform the world. In the past, it has not been the policy makers or even the Supreme Courts that brought about social and political and financial progress. It has been the citizens, much like those of us today, that fought for the significant progress that paved the way for the rights we have today. The fight is not over – there are still those who need protectors, there are still rights that need to be gained and defended.
It can seem like a daunting task, to have the future on the shoulders of your generation, but there are so many ways, big and small, to bring about change. Sometimes, all that it means is keeping up with current news – not only that but making a point to take time to find reliable sources and fact-checking everything that you may read or hear. It can even mean something as simple as keeping your friends and family accountable for what they say and do. On a bigger scale, it means voting in order to put those in power that will create positive change in our society. It means donating money or time to causes that serve those who are in need. It means being consciously active politically and socially in order to support the causes that you believe in. It also means taking time for self-care, one cannot be truly active and productive unless they are taking care of their minds and bodies.
Appointing Kavanaugh is not a step in the right direction, but it is not impossible to change the trajectory of the United States. This is not a rallying cry for destruction or chaos, this is a cry for change.