Take your “stage.” Speak up.

by Lorien E. Menhennett

The day after our recent presidential election, I wrote here that I don’t “normally” write about politics on my blog. I’ve reexamined that perspective in the last few days. The main intent of this blog does remain the same: to chronicle my journey to, through, and beyond medical school. But given the broad, international implications, these election results are now a part of my journey. Not just because Donald Trump has vowed to decimate the Affordable Care Act, which will affect my future patients. But because his proposed actions, and the cabinet appointments he has recently made, threaten the lives and rights of so many people in this country and the world beyond our borders.

I will continue to write about medical school here. As the cast of “Hamilton” recently reminded us though (see the YouTube video clip above), those of us who are concerned about the direction this country is headed have an obligation to stand up and voice those concerns from whatever platform we happen to have — whether it’s a literal stage, a blog, or a cocktail party.

My goal is not to incite fear or hopelessness. First, there is enough of that already. Second, alone they accomplish nothing. My goal is to provoke awareness and spur cohesion. Maybe that awareness and cohesion can actually foment hope — hope that by speaking our minds, by working together, we can eventually hobble this political malignancy.

With this introduction in mind, I want to share something I read a couple days ago from Humans of New York, which chronicles, through brief interviews and photos, the everyday lives of people in the city I now call home. This woman’s words resonated with me. They saddened me. They also helped me understand why this happened.