I read about #39 in history books. Though I have distinct memories from the 80’s, #40 came and went in the fog of my preteen years. #41 taught me the power of patriotism, yellow ribbons, and pride in my country.  #42 arrived during my coming of age years and helped me grow my progressive roots. I found my political voice when #43 was in office and it marked the first time I remember bonding over politics with my father.  Both of my children came into this world during #44, thank you for making the world a better place for my children.

40 years of Presidential power.  40 years of life. Every single moment fleeting.

Today, we welcome #45 to the world stage, his chapter just beginning. As we celebrate, curse, pray or even laugh about this inauguration, take in this moment, for it is in these times of transition that the rawness of our emotions become the most visceral. As the pomp and circumstance of today dissolves into night and our new leader of the free world gets down to business, remember that our next President is being sworn in to work on behalf of us, the American people. Like the six Presidents that have come and gone during the course of the past 40 years, his time will also be fleeting.  Our lives will go on and his time in office will have his own defining moments.

If there’s a silver lining around this election, it’s that for the first time in my life, I get the sense that individuals on both sides of the aisle are sitting up and aware of the world around them. The divisiveness in our political system has always been there and it always will be. Exacerbating our political differences has been the obnoxious churn of our over-sensationalized 24 hour news cycle and vitriolic online posting by those of us looking for validation in our echo chambers.  Our political system isn’t built upon a world of always getting what you want, it’s a world of compromise. The time has come to get to work together in pursuit of a more perfect union.

It is incumbent upon us to stand up for the things that we value most in this world.  That doesn’t mean reposting a pithy article or chastising your neighbor for having an opinion in opposition to you.  It means taking real action.  The wall I’ve been hitting in recent months is that fact that there are such large, seemingly immovable issues that I don’t know where to begin.

In the pursuit of moving from talk to action, I’ve been searching for a way to make a difference in my world.  Recently, I stumbled upon the notion of Micro-Movements. In her book Make Your Creative Dreams Real, author SARK defines a micro movement as “a very tiny action, 5 seconds to 5 minutes in length, that you can do to take action toward achieving a creative dream.” I have found this to be an incredible course of action for these seemingly insurmountable issues.

My challenge to you is this: Pick one issue and micro-movement the shit out of it. Forget politics, do what feels right to you in pursuit of making this world a better place.  (There is one rule, posting on social media doesn’t count.)

Based on his predecessors, #45’s time in office will end as quickly as it began. Life goes on, but don’t let this moment dissolve into the backdrop of the lives we live. Today, celebrate the smooth transition of power.  Tomorrow, get to work.  More than ever, we need you to be a part of the reason this country is so great.

Photo Credit: Eric Lynch

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Nate Zeisler is the Dean for Community Initiatives at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. He envisions a world where students majoring in the arts have a clear path to a sustainable career, where creative minds are empowered and inspired to rule the workforce, and where access to the arts is not just for the privileged few, but for all.

6 thoughts on “#45

  1. This is the first piece I’ve seen that makes reference to #45 without assuming he is going to undo everything in the country.

    Having faith in people, and the passion to voice that faith, without ever chastising those who don’t share it.

    That truly is what will make America great again.

    1. Thanks D.S.!

      Your thoughts are exactly what I’ve been grappling with! It’s time for all of us to be more aware of what’s happening in the world around us and get involved. Cheers and thanks for reading!

  2. Thank you, Nate, for your level-headed look at where we are now. Love the concept of Micro-Movements to help us all get out of the political/media fog we have been enveloped in for too long. If we all do something to make our neighborhood better, for starters, what a wonderful fabric that would create to make our country feel good again.

    1. Thanks Jill and great to hear from you!

      I can’t get the whole “all politics is local” phrase out of my head. I think getting out there for things we care about in our own communities has great power to make a difference, regardless of who is running the country.

      I hope all is well in your neck of the woods.


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