There are so many unknown and scary changes around us since last year, especially since last week, most of us are struggling to stay positive, find the silver lining. As one writer put it — it’s almost like we’re going through stages of grief. We will need to take the time to understand and reflect on things, but this is not the time for despair. This is a time to realize and accept that our world has so much opportunity and so much potential with just small changes.

It’s a test for all of us.

The results are showing us that it’s time that we look outside the “boxes” they’ve created for us and most definitely beyond the playground of politics. It’s time for us to live our values. What we say we value most. We need to start living them.

It’s time to start doing more than we talk.

Equality — rise above the inequality you see at work or on the streets. Acceptance and tolerance — being accepting of all others… every-single-being. Love will trump hate. This is the time that we can live our favorite first lady’s legacy: When they go low, we go high. Pull people up, raise the situation, raise the bars.

Instead of attacking a person we work together to enlighten a situation. Instead of reverting to personal insults and attacks we can choose to focus on the topic that is causing us the disagreement. Instead of making another feel inferior. Enlighten.

Listen and hear what is being said.

Understand that your values are not politics. Understand that wanting to see everybody live in peace is not being naive. Understand that sometimes when you foresee an impending disaster you can’t prevent it, but instead will be ready to dissipate it and address the key issues that brought it on. Keep an open mind. Don’t exclude people. Don’t think of them less for thinking differently. Certainly we can’t treat them as less, that’s not what we are. We are all a creation of our circumstances. Know that if a person is only seeing darkness — it’s not necessarily because they like the dark but maybe because they haven’t seen the light.

Live by example, in every aspect of our lives.

Every thing. We can do that. Respect don’t divide. Accept people don’t try to change them. If you can’t, try to understand what makes it difficult for you to accept them. Forgive.

Wars — say no, sign the petitions, go to protests. Silence is not the way. Speaking your views is NOT politics. Burst the bubbles that this fear of “offending” creates around us. Work to understand. Show support to our troops. Dream to see them safe too. Put it in on the leaders to find a way to keep our troops safe. Avoid excusing the leaders.

We need to stop screaming at others to “stop hating” and then turn around and tell our friends about how much we hate the others and their nasty views.

Be more cautious about what’s going on around you. I don’t mean right next to you, though that is also important — but who is feeding you. Literally. Where did that food you’re eating come from? How was it produced? Where? Who made that shirt that you just reached out to buy? Under what conditions? How about those shoes? How many lives were harmed to bring you that “high value” hand bag? And how about the gas station you just stopped by to refill? Do they support the wars in the middle east or are they working just off the coast of US and non-conflict regions?

In the information age, we have access to know all of this literally at our fingertips. The problem is just going about doing things without thinking as if we dont have that information is the comfort we choose.

It’s very simple, basic and old really: Treat all others the way that you would like to be treated. Demand companies that you interact with do the same. In every aspect of your life. Period.

Ocean Actionist. Circular Economy Consultant. Reuse and Plastic recycling SME. Entrepreneur. Speaker. Underwater Photographer. NYC.

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