I’m Not Leaving This Country

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The night of the 2016 presidential election, I made a tearful but sincere vow to meet every word and action that lies ahead with fierce compassion, love, non-violence, and inclusiveness. Nothing good is built on fear — neither the fear that is real for me nor the fear that is clearly real for others. I did not vote for this administration, and although it’s tempting to disavow this country and to disengage from politics, neither of those are options for me. Even though I’m afraid for all of the humans and non-humans who will be negatively impacted by harmful policies that were promised during the campaign, I’m also grateful for the democratic process and vow to become even more engaged in it. I think the greatest gift this man will give us is unity against tyranny.

I vow to find the best within myself and the best within others and to stand for everything that is good and true in this world. Today, I am mourning the hopes that have been dashed, but I’ve also got a lot of work to do to make this world a better place for all, and I ask that you join me in holding a space for both sadness and compassion. Fierce compassion.

[Tweet “We can’t expect others to act from their highest selves if we don’t act from ours.”]

There is reason for hope. (Read why the past gives me hope for the future.) There is always hope, but having hope isn’t a license to be idle. Action is our only way through; hope is the light that guides us. In this blog post, I talk about the local actions I’ve taken that I’m most proud of and how we must continue to be a voice for compassion. One way to do that is to participate in the democratic process that is the foundation of this country. That means showing up, speaking up, and engaging with elected officials who we must urge to act from the highest that is in them.

And we can’t do this without acting from the highest that is in us.

[Tweet “I vow to find the best in others and to stand for everything that is good and true in this world.”]

Comments (31)

  • This was so inspiring & uplifting to read- I should have guessed you would find hope, light, and a positive attitude in this situation.

    You have made me comfortable in being vegan, and I am so thankful for your podcasts! Your outlook on life, is nothing short of admirable.

    To sum it up, you rock, & please don’t stop! I look forward to joining together with my fellow Californian’s & American’s to make the most of the next few years to come.

  • Today has been heartbreaking but I will not let it beat me down. There is still so, so much work to be done. I’m with you, Colleen.

  • There is so much out of our control. I feel so grateful that I have the plant-based way of life to help me feel I can take proper action to nourish and care for myself every day. At least that is something.

  • In the midst of the pain I feel about the election, I notice that being vegan reliably shows up as a source of emotional strength for me. The world around me may be going crazy but I’m still eating in a way that considers the pain of other beings and spares them unnecessary suffering. Eating this way has now become fairly effortless in my day to day life and I always feel good about it.

    I can’t help feeling that the world would be a less confusing place if more people recognized the violence on their plates. What, after all does it really mean to value kindness and compassion if we are unwilling to consider the lives of those we hurt every day? Honest inquiry, at some point requires us to think beyond the realm of our comforts and dietary preferences, to look further than our taken-for-granted privilege as the most powerful species. It asks us to intimately consider the animals themselves, as breathing, feeling individuals, and what each one of their lives must be like, from their perspective.

  • I have shared your words and I join you. The only control I have is over me and my choices. Vegan for Love, Life, Happiness and Animals.

  • Sent this to my aunt who is so sad and angry today. I totally agree. We must come together and work hard on all of the causes that are important to us. Michael Moore posted that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. The majority of people went with her ideas. The electoral college is the problem (twice now).
    We have to remind each other that we are allies by supporting each other and working for each other.

  • The last 24 hours has been filled with frustration and admittedly some hopelessness but having read this, I’ve realized that my being vegan has helped me to see that I can only do as much as I can do. Although I can’t change what’s been done, I can still make my mark on this world in positive ways every day and hope that others follow. Thank you xoxo

  • Well, I wish you the best of luck. I’ll be watching from afar, Costa Rica to be exact. I am embarrassed to call myself an American at this point. Trump is not my President, and by accepting him as yours, you are tacitly accepting everything he stands for: hatred, bigotry, disdain, narcissism, pathologic lying, I could go on ad infinitum, but I have to pack.

  • Colleen,
    So well said. This has provided so much inspiration to me in such a confusing and for me, depressing, time.
    I am not a big sharer of emails or social media, but I have shared this several times with other scared and concerned friends. I will be writing out and posting these words above my desk. Thank you.

  • I’m with you, Colleen! This has been a rough week for me, but your posts have been very helpful for me. I feel less alone, and stronger, reading your posts, and the comments of like-minded individuals. Thank you, for creating this space for us. Thank you, thank you, thank you!


  • I am in Australia, and I had hoped that Hilary would have been the next US President. 85% of Australians wanted Hilary to become President. I only hope now that Trump is in that the animals and the world will be better off. God please help this to happen. Your work Colleen is so amazing and I

    • I am in Australia, and I had hoped that Hilary would have been the next US President. 85% of Australians wanted Hilary to win the Election. I only hope now that Trump is in, that he will make it a nicer place for the animals. God please help this to happen. The only way to save all the cruelty and torture is to be Vegan. Your work is amazing Colleen and you are having such success in making this world a kinder place. shared!

  • Thank you, Colleen, for the calming words. As I process my anger, fear, and grief, I’ve begun to find some clarity about what I can do as a vegan, artist, and woman living so far away. This post and yesterday’s are very helpful. xo

  • Colleen, thank you so much for your words of calm resolve. It’s been a very hard week and we are looking down the road of the years to come with dismay. Your words really help to give strength. ??

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