At no time in recent history (at least since 9/11) have so many been so very personally challenged at the outcome of the 2016 election for president of these United States.
Those who voted for the actual winner of the popular vote have been living with varying degrees of anger, anxiety and overwhelming frustration as they witness the reins of the most powerful position in our country turned over to the opposing candidate as the result of a constitutional "loophole." Fear of a reversal of all of the hard-won gains over the past eight years for women’s rights and the LGBT community, not to mention the prospect of someone with such a transparently thin skin being left in charge of the nuclear codes is rampant. People of different faiths and those from other countries are rightly wondering about their future in a nation that was founded by immigrants who settled here looking for a better life.
Everyone handles these overwhelming emotions in their own personal ways, and peaceful protest has become an art form. A prime example are the walls of the NYC Union Square subway station that have been transformed with hundreds of thousands of colourful post-it notes bearing words that illustrate how the writers are feeling. It's "subway therapy" at its best, and it’s spectacular in its simple power.
We interviewed several people who were writing for these walls, and what they had to say was poignant and hopeful, with a determination that they would stay strong in the face of what is to come. As one Muslim woman said, "In the beginning, when I first woke up and found out he was president, I felt scared. Somehow, me standing out as a Muslim, in this case, was a chance for complete strangers to come up to me and say 'we love you…we don’t think you are a terrorist.' I have hope that these kind of circumstances that we are going through are actually going to make people stronger."