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Why the Bodily Act of Marching Matters

Why the Bodily Act of Marching Matters

On January 21, 2017 people around the globe came together to march in solidarity for women’s–and human, rights. It may have been initially organized to happen in Washington, D.C., but it soon became a collective phenomenon of cities around the world. Millions marched to make sure our collective voices were heard. And let me tell you- they most certainly were!

Why does the physical act of marching matter? Can it actually create change and awareness? Why yes, my darling vina, it absolutely can. Not only history, but psychology tells us so.

Kimerer LaMothe, Ph.D. recently shared an analysis on why the bodily action of marching matters, claiming, “To march is to move together in time.” LaMothe says that while we may not be moving at the same pace, a group of people moving together is “impossible to underestimate.”

LaMothe talks about moving with others in the sense that it creates an awareness and embodies democracy in its truest working form. She states that collective movement,“is about creating the conditions for generating ideas — a rich motley mix within which new visions may form. It is about generating networks of thought, feeling, and shared experience across which actions can travel.”

So why physically march with others? Simply put: to get us together – bodies, voices, and perspectives. To show support for each other align our goals: to keep moving forward. To realize we are not alone.

Moving together with others lights a fire and sparks motivation. Getting large groups of people together for a common purpose helps create a strong presence that can be seen and felt through passion and proximity. We are creating a community that builds us up, makes us strong, shows we’re loud and proud, and it’s undeniably engaging.

Coming together in large numbers like we saw during the Women’s March on Washington is motivating and inspiring. I mean, we’re still talking about it nearly two months later. That fact alone should help us realize that we can actually create change in our country and around the world, just by getting together to support each other and make our voices heard.

(Featured image courtesy Occupy.com)

This post was originally published on the VINAzine <3

Be An Informed, Educated Voter

Be An Informed, Educated Voter

We have officially entered the year of the next Presidential election in the United States. While I tend to keep my political thoughts to myself or only share with a small group of friends/colleagues, I feel it’s important to share some information with my friends, family, and readers.

If you aren’t sure of who you will vote for, that’s just fine – especially considering the field of candidates has yet to be narrowed down for the actual election later this year. If you’d like to get a head start and begin your research now, go for it. I highly recommend two websites to help you become a more informed voter: ISideWith.com and FactCheck.org

ISideWith.com is a wonderful resource, especially if you are very unsure of where you stand or which party/candidate you want to support. Don’t be sucked in by the evils of media; rather, take your time and answer the questions on this website. Their tagline – “How do your beliefs align with the potential candidates?” This is important… it focuses on YOUR beliefs.

My advice: be honest and answer the extra questions. It may take a little while, but it’s worth it. The last time I filled it out, I think it took about 30 minutes to complete with me answering each question in detail. Always select the position on the scale of if that issue is more or less important to you, and definitely expand the “Other Stances” option on each question to get more specific. Sometimes, a simple yes or no doesn’t suffice on the issues at hand. Here’s an example question:

ISideWith Sample Question

Dissecting the features, there is a spot for the user to select how important that issue is to them. It’s a scale of Less to More, with Somewhat being the middle of the road. Next to the actual question, there’s a button for you to click to learn more about the issue, in case things aren’t immediately clear. That brief description will sometimes even offer why some are against and why others are for the particular issue. Below the Yes or No option, there’s another for Other Stances. Once you click that, more options appear, allowing you to get more specific about your personal belief on the issue. If you click Add your own stance you will be given a text box for you to type how you really feel. Note that your response in that area is added to the database and other users can see it when they browse through the website.

When you finish the quiz, you’ll be given a breakdown of who you side with, which party fits your views, and a ton of other features including how others in your location/demographic feel about the issues.

When I started the quiz, I thought (without a doubt) I’d be aligned with a certain candidate and party. At the end of the quiz, I was surprised to see my top candidate and party. Reading through my answers, it made a lot of sense. This is how we should begin making our voting decisions. Not only will you solidify your convictions, you’ll be able to find the person who aligns the most with your personal views. Then, you can make the decision if that person is indeed the best person to run our great nation. Keep going back too throughout the year to see if anything changes, especially when the candidates have been narrowed down. I will be visiting this site often over the next several months to ensure I vote with intelligence come November.

FactCheck.org is a fantastic resource that helps us cut out all the crap said in the heat of the moment or in an effort to earn a vote. I could give endless examples with this, but just consider the recent debates and statements some candidates are saying about each other. It’s a fact – some will say and do whatever it takes to get you to be on their side, regardless if it’s true or false. This unfortunately leaves it up to us to do more research to verify what is true or not. In the end, it at least makes us more informed.

I love this site simply because it is dedicated to presenting the facts and no party/candidate is safe. You can trust if something is said in error, this site will be quick to correct the inaccuracies and provide detailed information on the specific topic or issue. Their mission is to increase public knowledge through journalistic and scholarly principles. This site makes it easy for a citizen to find the truth among the mess that is modern politics. They have a great section titled “Viral Spiral.” This is dedicated to helping people sift through the rumors. If you’re on Twitter, go ahead and follow – no bias, no bullshit.

In closing: please do your research and don’t just blindly vote for a party.  Don’t vote for someone because your parents or friends would. Get educated. Be informed. Take your time and really look into the potential candidates on your own. Don’t rely on media to tell you for whom you should cast your vote. Don’t let your friends and families tell you what you think. These two websites are just some of the few out there that will help you begin your research, help you form your own opinion, and then you will be able to be an informed voter. It’s your vote and yours alone. Make it count!