Don’t Panic! Alright, Panic.

C’mon, folks! Get over yourselves! Things aren’t so bad. It’s not like the sun doesn’t rise every day, like you suddenly wake up one morning to a dark orange world.

Never mind.

It’s not like if you’re depressed you can’t go for a walk in the beautiful forest or along the beautiful coast! It’s not like the whole planet is being destroyed by fire or flame or both!

Never mind.

It’s not like we live in a dictatorship where people are not equal under the law! Where powerful people can violate laws with impunity! We live in a democracy, the oldest one in the world! Our founders had the wisdom to give us three branches, to balance each other, so the country could never go totally astray. Three branches: The President, the Congress with the Senate being supreme, AND the Supreme Court! They can’t all get screwy at once, right? The most stable democracy that ever was! A democracy, do you hear me?!?

Never mind.

Let’s not even talk about the pandemic and the tottering economy. Alright. We’re all entitled to a little bit of panic.

But we cannot stay panicked. That isn’t good for us, for those we love, for the world. We must, when we can, move on to…

RADICAL ACCEPTANCE

And Radical Acceptance asks the question:

This being the case, how do I proceed?

This does not mean that we never feel panic again. It doesn’t mean we don’t grieve. I was watching a very short ad for Biden that consisted of a man holding his small son, talking about the fact that the little boy was born with a serious malady — the very definition of a pre-existing condition — and without Obamacare, he would have no medical coverage. I just burst out sobbing, for all the pointless pointless suffering the Republicans have caused and will cause if they’re not roundly thrashed in the election.

It was very cathartic, my sobbing. And when I stopped crying, I asked myself:

This being the case, how do I proceed?

I think this is what we need to attend to before anything else:

First, stanch the bleeding.

Our democracy is bleeding out right now. I think we all know that. We have to do everything we can do influence this election. Unfortunately we’re hamstrung by the pandemic. Otherwise, thousands of us could spend time canvassing, going door-to-door, in swing states. That’s what people did the first time Obama ran in 2008. I myself was planning to spend October in Pennsylvania.

But we still can phone bank and write letters with Vote Forward, which is a recent and exciting innovation. And remember, those Democrats who we get to the polls will also probably vote for the Democratic candidate for Senate. So by working on the election, we’re trying, both to elect Biden President, AND to elect a majority-Democratic Senate.

And remember:

No matter how bad things are…….

They can get worse!

I know, I know. Things can get better too. We used to say things WILL get better. “They can get worse” might sound totally depressing but it’s not! It means many things, one of which is: Enjoy what you have to enjoy NOW! Don’t stay sunk is misery.

Do what needs to be done, and enjoy what is there to enjoy!

Because who knows what the future holds? Good or bad, we just don’t know at this point. And that’s okay. Because obviously we never DID know! We just THOUGHT we knew!

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Written by

Terry Baum is an actress, director, teacher, filmmaker, political activist, and award-winning lesbian playwright. Her blog BAUMBLOG is a “Top 100 LGBTQ Blog.”

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