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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/14/20

Awake and Angry: Thoughts on the state of the USA and how we can feel less helpless

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Author 518202
Message Paige Yepko

Awake and angry in the middle of the night, waiting for the impending doom? Same here, let's figure out how to be less sedentary.

Between the Coronavirus pandemic, incompetent political power heads, the climate crisis, and the country's racial reckoning it's hard to know where to turn. So here are a few steps to feel less helpless and that may stave off the apocalypse a bit longer.

1. Be political. Be informed. VOTE. Only 61.4% of voting-age citizens participated in the 2016 election. Educate yourself on the issues and ensure your voice is heard. To register to vote or confirm you're registered click here - https://www.usa.gov/voter-registration

If you're not up to date on local and state elections (like most Americans) you can search by your state here - https://www.usa.gov/election-office

2. Be more conscientious of what you buy or put in your body. Many of us have more free time on our hands and are able to do a bit of research on what we choose to purchase. Whether it be deciding against that cheap, fast-fashion outfit or opting for the locally grown veggies at the farmer's market we can influence our capitalist society through our collective purchasing power.

3. If you see something upsetting to you, speak up. Is a member of the BIPOC -(Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) - community being harassed or seem distressed? Ask them if they could use some help. Someone threw their lit cigarette on dry grass? Stomp it out and then address them. Societal change cannot happen solely behind screens and anonymous donations (although those do help).

4. If you are able to, donate or volunteer. So many organizations have seen a drop in fundraising efforts due to COVID-19. What matters to you? Is it seeing the river near your house free of litter? Or more national education opportunities supporting low-income students? Whatever it may be there are always ways to get involved so long as you are willing to take 10 minutes and do some Googling.

5. Recognize what small changes you can make in your life - bring your own bags to the grocery store, read articles or watch films that highlight racial inequality, understand how racism affects your daily decisions, think critically about choices you have subconsciously or consciously made. These small reckonings will not eliminate racism or the climate crisis but understanding the roots of your privilege can create a greater dialogue.

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An Ohioan living in London, watching the USA burn from a land that is also smouldering.
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Awake and Angry: Thoughts on the state of the USA and how we can feel less helpless

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