Ordinary People doing Extraordinary Things- Nathalie

I had an idea about two months ago that I want to share stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things on my blog.  I am so lucky that Nathalie is the first person featured in this series! If you would like to take part in this series, please send me an email at info@mysocalledmommylife.com. No act is too big or small. I just want to share with everyone stories of regular everyday people doing extraordinary things to help make our world a better place!

Here’s Nathalie’s story:

My March to March Project

Because of one person on Instagram, I went to the Rally Against Trump in Toronto on November 19.  I mean, I had known about it, I had joined a Facebook group of many like-minded people, and I had planned to attend.  I had talked to friends about going, and to my kids, I had said to myself and to others that it was important to me, and then the kids all had hockey and the friends all had their kids’ activities and then it rained and rained and rained.  There were plenty of reasons for me not to go, is what I’m trying to say, but in the end, one other person I’ve never met and who happened to share an image of her kids making posters tipped the balance.  I saw her photo and knew that I would feel worse staying at home than I would going alone to a rally in the rain.  I told her: your voice matters, it got me here. 

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As I wrote on the day, all of the reasons to say home became reasons to attend.

I went to the march.

Even though it was raining.

Even though my husband had all three boys for hockey and I had no other obligations.

Even though I had the whole quiet house to myself.

Even though I don’t believe post-truth should be a word.

Because it was raining.  (To represent.)

Because my husband had all three boys for hockey and I had no other obligations.  (I had support.)

Because I had the whole quiet house to myself. ( I have privilege.)

Because I don’t believe post-truth should be a word.  This most of all.                                                  

I went alone with my rainbow umbrella and my bright red rainboots and my resolve and I stood on the periphery and I soaked it all in and I felt myself counted.   I am a Canadian in one of the most diverse cities in the world, and still I felt so affronted by that man’s winning the election.  I took it personally, and I wanted to find some way to express that. I’m not sure that I wholly endorse the value of marches.  I don’t think they will become a habit with me.  I am not a fan of slogans and making noise and disruption, though I understand that these are tools to make oneself heard.  We only marched one block to Trump Tower, a building that he doesn’t even own, and there was no one inside to really accept delivery of the chants the crowd chanted at the façade of Trump Tower. 

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There was much about the march that felt futile, but I went anyway, and I stayed, and I resolved that I would also be part of the Toronto Women March on Washington on January 21.     

It’s so easy to be cynical.  It’s harder to be practical in meaningful ways. 

I want not to be cynical.  I want so very much to be practical. 

So I decided to start a project.  March to March is my project to take one practical step a day from The Rally Against Trump on November 19 to The Women March on Washington on January 21 to make a positive difference, to help to create the world in which I want to live.  It’s my project to take one concrete measure each day to build something I can endorse wholeheartedly. 

What am I doing?  Donating, educating, standing up.  Harnessing my resources.

I donated to the David Suzuki Foundation.  I donated to the Southern Poverty Law Group.  The kids and I made a reverse advent calendar of 24 good deeds to do before Christmas.  We also made a reverse advent calendar to fill with one item a day for the food bank.  I subscribed to The New York Times.  I donated to support groups for transgender children.  Like that. 

March to march is my way of saying no to despair and my way of finding practical steps to shaping a world I want to live in.

One thing that this election has taken from me is my sense of scale, my grounding.  With #marchtomarch, I am righting the balance.  I am one tiny person making one tiny gesture a day, and that’s a scale I can work with.

Nathalie Foy

Nathalie Foy lives in Toronto and is the co-editor and co-founder of Plenty the Magazine

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