On January 21, 2017, I'll be participating in the Sacramento* sister march of the Women's March on Washington. At 72, I'll attend a statement event like this one for the first time in my life. Guess you could say I'm concerned, more than that, frightened, by the way our world is spinning.
A friend asks me, "What's this march about?"
According to the mission statement, this march is about inclusivity — "recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country."
There are some who want to turn this gathering into a bipartisan one. That's not the way I see it being presented. It's not — okay I'll say it — it's not an anti-Trump march. It's a grass roots effort to get us to speak up and move administrations (including Trump's) in the direction we want them to go. To remind them that "women's rights are human rights and that there is no true peace without justice and equity for all." I'd parse and add, "including justice and equity for the seriously mentally ill and their families."
My brother's joining my sister-in-law and me at the State Capitol Building in Sacramento. I hope many men will join us. My brother asks, "Are you carrying a sign at the march? What's it going to say?"
Ah! Good questions. Now I have to put my priorities where my feet are. I have to be clear about why I'm walking. Truth be told, if I were to make a sign that included all the reasons I'm marching, — reason #1: Mental Health Parity and Comprehensive, Integrated Care for those with Serious Mental Illness; #2: Reformed HIPAA regulations — it would measure at least six feet by six feet. It'd be ridiculously heavy. And from a marketing standpoint, it'd be ineffective. Less is more.
So what's my sign going to say? In the interest of full disclosure, there's anger in my motivation to march. I'm angered (and insulted) by the dumpsite language used in this recent election. The devil in me might embellish my sign with select four-letter words. But I'll suppress my less-than-honorable inclinations. I'll find my good angel. I'll set example I want our leaders to emulate.
I'm exercising due diligence and thinking, in a definitive way, about why I'm marching and what succinct message my sign should convey. I'll choose its words with care. Suggestions welcome.
Note to self: Take the high road.
*As of today, 10,000 are expected to participate in the Sacramento March.
UPDATE: Over 20,000 attended that Sacramento March.