November 16, 2016
Lots of changes in the month of November. First, I’m growing a beard. I know, big news, right? Oh yeah, and that election thing. Wow. That.
More on that later.
I’m growing a beard as part of the Movember movement. I’m calling attention to men’s health issues, including men’s cancers and mental health. Here’s a video I hope you’ll watch.
As a testicular cancer survivor, I feel pretty strongly about early and effective health care and the need for men to be willing to talk about illness and seek help so they have the same fighting chance I had.
My beard is now 16 days old. It was brown on Election Day. But I woke up on Wednesday morning and it looked like this.
A week ago, the nation woke up to the phrase, “President-Elect Donald Trump.”
It’s been a long week. Like a lot of people, I’ve gone through a series of real emotions. And I’m not over them.
I’ve watched others react, some in ways similar to me and some very differently. That’s okay. Just like we’re all different, we will react differently to this enormous emotional event.
But at the end of the day — and, especially, at the dawn of this very new era — we must unite to ensure that we preserve and enhance what we love about America.
Our side lost a hard election to a very different candidate. It’s okay to be mad, sad or scared — there are good reasons to be.
We must hold our new leaders accountable. We all love this country, even as we differ politically, and we all must protect it.
So this isn’t the time to be quiet. Don’t give up hope or the effort to make our country and state better. Call out hate and offensive words and behavior. Demand common decency. Require that our government do right and do good. Stand with our neighbors and brothers and sisters.
And there’s more we can do. We should reflect on being better citizens and stronger advocates for change. We can ask how to create new and different constituencies, how we might better hear other people and how we can communicate more clearly.
We should begin organizing for the next election. Let’s reach out, engage and help those groups and organizations that champion causes and issues that are important to us by donating time and/or money.
Texas’ legislative session is less than two months away — there will be lots to be mad, sad and scared about. I’m proud to be your senator and will continue to work to do my very best by you. And to work for the good of Texans—all Texans.
We also remember how frustrating it was when the other side tried to delegitimize the country’s first African American President or obstructed for the sake of obstruction. As high as the emotions are, as difficult as it may be, for the good of our country and our future, I want to be better than those that we criticized. As Dr. King said, “Hate cannot drive out hate.”
I agree with the woman I hoped would be President:
“Because, you know — you know, I believe we are stronger together and we will go forward together. And you should never, ever regret fighting for that. You know, scripture tells us, ‘Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap if we do not lose heart.’ So my friends, let us have faith in each other, let us not grow weary, let us not lose heart, for there are more seasons to come. And there is more work to do.”
Let’s cry. Let’s grieve. And let’s go to work.