Late reaction to Trump presidency

(I know I’m a bit late with this, but I’ve just started a new job so I’ve been MILDLY BUSY)

So, Donald Trump was elected president (just in case you didn’t know). Personally, I am not his biggest fan. Whilst he has many supporters, I lean more towards team OMG I’D RATHER A POTATO RAN AMERICA.

In all seriousness though, this situation has made a lot of people very worried. As we all know, Trump spewed prejudiced comments against women, immigrants, and many other groups throughout the election. Lots of people are horrified that he is their president. Although we can’t predict the future, some of Trump’s promises have been terrifying. Personally, I think we shouldn’t assume anything. After all, many people assumed Trump could never become the president. Just saying. Even if Trump doesn’t do much, we can still make the world a better place by fighting for what’s right.

Like many, many others, I desperately want to help. I want to make the US president change his views and treat people equally. But like many, many others, I find this problem overwhelming. After all, I am just one person – what can I possibly do? This situation is huge and we don’t know where to start. Whilst this is an understandable attitude, it’s not a particularly helpful one. If all of us think that way, we’ll never get anything done. So, what should we do? Well, none of these tips are going to be ORIGINAL or GROUNDBREAKING, but I’m still writing this as I think we need to spread awareness as much as we can.

Firstly, I think supporting organisations that need our help is very important. There are many different charities you can donate to. If you live outside the US (like me), finding relevant organisations to support can be trickier. I’ve managed to find a couple for UK citizens so far. Obviously, only donate if you can (I don’t have much money either). Again, lists like these can be overwhelming, so, as recommended, maybe try picking just one for now. That’s what I’m going to do anyway.

As well as donating, I think supporting marginalised groups is equally important. I’ve seen people online stressing the importance of ‘upping your allyship’ during uncertain times. I completely agree with these people. Oppressed minority groups need to be heard. They also need to be taken seriously and respected. That means actually listening to what they have to say. That means ensuring their opinions aren’t drowned out by those who have more privilege than them.

After an event like the election, everyone is talking about social justice. I think that’s fantastic – these things need to be discussed. However, the challenging part is keeping it that way. Even if your friends stop tweeting about it, try not to forget these issues next week, next month, or next year. If you want to raise awareness of a problem, ignore anyone saying you talk about it too much. This isn’t just about Trump, it’s about the injustices people have been battling against for decades.

We must not give up hope. I genuinely believe there is hope for the future but we have to keep fighting this.

Most importantly, remember that a president can’t change who we are. They can’t stop our beliefs, values, or determination to make a difference. They can’t change the millions of people fighting for what they believe in. Trump may be the leader, but we don’t have to be his followers. So, let’s get to work.

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Quiet by Susan Cain – a discussion/book review/something or other (spoilers)

* Part of me didn’t want to post this today because of everything going on. However, another part of me thought ‘I’ve already started writing this, so why should I let Trump stop me?’ *

Quiet is the best book I’ve read in a while. Anyone who knows me may assume I just enjoyed Cain telling me how great I was for 263 pages. To be fair, there was an element of that. However, the real reason I loved Quiet was because it taught me the negative traits I’d seen in myself and others were actually often positive ones in disguise.

I’ll admit, when I started reading, I feared Quiet may be filled with tales of introverts viewed as ‘the exceptions.’ I was scared I’d only hear stories of introverts managing to reach the same level of excellence as outgoing people. Luckily, by the end of the book I’d been proven completely wrong. Quiet taught me an awful lot about being quiet. Cain covered so many topics there’s no way I can mention them all. I’m merely going to scratch the surface of a few of my favourites in this post. You’ll have to read the book to find out more.

Cain introduced me to ‘the extrovert ideal,’ a term I had not heard until now. I had wondered why so many people were concerned by quietness. I had wondered why my school teachers begged me to ‘come out of my shell more’ (I’d been too stubborn to comply). However, I’d had no idea about the rise of the ‘culture of personality’ occurring at the turn of the twentieth century. Suddenly, everything seemed to make a lot more sense. Loudness had become a trend. Westerners were actively encouraged to be talkative. Despite this, Cain provides lots of evidence opposing the theory that loud always trumps quiet. Whilst extroversion is good for some situations, just as many fare better from an introverted approach.

One of Cain’s examples of this is the modern workplace. As the author points out, office plans are often set up to serve extroverts. In an open office, everyone is sat together to aid team work and collaboration. This may seem like the practical choice, and in some cases it is. However, whilst there are advantages to open office plans, Cain proves privacy can be equally beneficial to workers.

Quiet also poses the question of whether all cultures have an extrovert ideal. The answer in short is no. Cain explores which traits are respected more in places outside Europe. I found this discussion extremely interesting. The concept of people respecting listeners over speakers was very alien to a British girl like me. I thought it was an excellent topic to discuss, reminding readers to stay open-minded about the traits they view as positive and negative.

Cain also discusses whether introverts and extroverts should act louder or quieter than they naturally are. The general consensus seems to be that both types can benefit from this. If used to maintain values and goals that are truly important to you, then yes, stretching yourself can be useful. Having said this, we must be careful. Straying too far from ourselves can have negative impacts. According to Cain, in extreme cases, acting out of character for too long may even affect our health.

Finally, my favourite topic Cain discussed was introverted children. Far too often, quiet kids are seen as an ‘issue.’ Adults encourage them to be outgoing and open up to people. But here’s the shocker – quiet children aren’t a problem that need to be fixed. Cain discusses parents who initially worried about their children’s quietness. Nowadays however, they know their reserved natures are part of what makes their kids so remarkable. Having said this, Cain does note the difference between introversion and shyness. So what does she say about shy kids? Well, Cain seems to think as long as you respect your child’s boundaries, it’s okay to encourage them to try new things. However, the solution doesn’t seem to be forcing shy kids to become extroverts. There is nothing wrong with being quiet after all. Instead, the solution seems to be more about helping kids build confidence. This confidence may be built through socializing, sports, or taking up a hobby. (Honestly go and read the book. I’m finding this quite difficult to explain. Cain has done a far better job).

Quiet deeply resonated with me. When I was a child, I knew people didn’t mean it as a compliment when they called me shy and reserved. I felt like I wouldn’t be good enough until I turned into one of my classmates who preferred talking to reading books. But I want less people to feel the way I did. So, whether you’re loud, quiet, or somewhere in between, I recommend Quiet to you. It truly is a fascinating read.

* P.S. I apologise if there are any inaccuracies in this. My bad. I’ve just had a very stressful day. Trump was elected for god’s sake. *