Upset about this election? Then you're probably doing okay.
I am upset about the fact that Donald Trump is our President.
Because I am a white woman living in an affluent neighborhood with a job and a supportive family, I can afford to be sad.
I can walk around my house crying and texting my support network when I worry about the safety of Muslims living in the country, undocumented immigrants, and our foundering economy and place in the world at large.
I can do these things because I have a paycheck and a roof over my head, and food in my belly.
There are so many people in our country today who don't have these things, these very basic, very simple things.
If we didn't know this before last night's election results, we certainly know it now.
As I watched state after state turn red, one thing became very, very clear: a huge part of our country feels abandoned, like their voices aren't being heard and that they are so sick and tired of it that they are willing to shake things up to this degree.
It makes so much sense, as hard as it is right now stress-wise, especially when you look at it using Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.
According to Maslow's hierarchy, if you don't have the first two levels of the pyramid, you can't begin to think about the rest of it.
It makes sense.
If you don't have food or water, or the knowledge that your job and health are safe, how can you be expected, rationally, to start to think about higher-level needs?
The bleeding heart liberal in me (which, for the record, is most of me) wants to grab these people and shake them by their collars.
"Don't you see that a democrat could get you the things you need? Don't you see that you're inadvertently supporting a fear monger who speaks hate? DOES NO ONE REMEMBER RONALD REAGAN?"
But it doesn't work that way, and to people in the middle of the country and in the South, what they've had is 8 years of a democrat who couldn't help them get a firm grasp on the first two critical levels of the pyramid.
By voting for Donald Trump, these people don't think it reflects upon how much they care about the LGBTQ community, or Muslims, or immigrants, or women.
They think they are sending a message making it clear that they are in dire straits and that they need help.
Well, guys, message received.
Living in New York I know it can be easy to become disconnected from the rest of the country.
I thought I was in tune with people who might not be so well-off because I can't afford to pay for my healthcare, or because I don't make as much money as my peers do, but I'm seeing the results of Donald Trump's presidency and realizing just how out of touch I've been.
Because the bottom two layers of the pyramid are covered for me, I can afford a level of liberality that people who are worse off just can't.
So instead of moving to Canada or ignoring the news for the next four years, here is what I am going to do.
I am going to listen to the people around me who feel like they have abandoned, who feel that Donald Trump is their voice, even though he represented some of this nation's least moral behavior.
I am going to fight for the needs of everyone in my country, starting at the most basic level first.
Let's get out country fed, let's give the people of Flint clean drinking water, let's train our workforce to keep up the changing demands of the modern economy.
Get people jobs that actually help them build a future, so they can feel safe. Then maybe we can challenge their personal beliefs.
In many respects, I wish this is how I had participated in the election all along.
But just like our nation, I am still learning, and this time I am going to do it right.