If you’ve felt despair anytime you open your news app or turn on your tv recently you’re not alone.
Though there is always a tragedy in the news, this summer has felt particularly brutal. 308 people have lost their lives in Toronto alone this year as a result of gun violence. Beyond the tragedies occurring in Canada, following the news regarding Trump and his policies south of the border has been pretty awful too. From escalating a trade war with Canada that is hurting both of our economies to the recent disruptions in his government, it’s easy to feel alarmed at current events.
Watching the global turmoil unfold in recent months I’ll admit I’ve been feeling helpless – how could I possibly make any sort of impact with the limited resources I have? Like the majority of us, it’s not as if I have a loud persuasive platform from which to stand and shout about how incredulous the Trump government’s recent actions are.
As human rights abuses related to immigration and border crossings have risen to the media forefront, my nationality and what it means to be Canadian are things that I’ve deeply considered. I’ve always been so proud to call myself Canadian, largely because our reputation on the global playing field has that of peacekeeper. Now more than ever it’s important we remember this reputation and do what we can on a personal level every day to show our contempt for things we deem unethical happening around us.
You are not helpless. Here are some things you can do TODAY with the free will you possess.
1. Be kind: At the smallest end of the spectrum, you can be a kinder human to the people around you on a day to day basis. Sometimes the smallest, most simple acts can carry the most weight and it’s crucial not to forget that. Notable Life was fortunate to have the opportunity recently to see the wildly popular Broadway musical Come From Away. Without giving too much away, it tells the story of how a small town in Newfoundland pulled together during a horrific event. Check out the video below for more on that (warning, spoiler alerts for anyone who has not seen it yet.)
Video shot by @valentevariety
2. Buy Canadian products: Support your local business owners and research products that are made here in Canada. It could serve to actually benefit your wallet also as imported products become more expensive as a result of recent upheavals in trade deals like NAFTA.
3. Donate your time or money to organizations working against Trump’s policies: Aside from committing small acts of kindness in defiance of Trump’s current discourse, you can also donate to organizations that are combating some of his policies and actions.
The ACLU: The ACLU is working tirelessly to combat unconstitutional immigration practices that are taking place, such as separating children from families along the US/Mexico border.
Planned Parenthood: Provides vital reproductive health care and sex education for millions of people worldwide.
NAACP: A civil rights organization in the United States which aims to advance justice for African Americans.
National Resource Defence Council: An organization working to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. Essentially combatting Trump’s agenda to classify global warming as “fake news”.
We Charity: A Canadian based charity that empowers youth globally through educational programs that nurture transformative social change.
4. Encourage your American friends to vote. Thanks to social media, we all have a platform from which we can speak up from. Encourage your American friends to vote in the midterm elections.
5. Go see Come From Away: If you are down and need to reaffirm your belief in humanity, go see this musical.
You always have a choice to be kind – the moment you forget that is the only moment you truly lose.