This I Swear.

My heart is breaking again today.

I’ve been cycling through those first four stages of grief on repeat and on shuffle for the past few weeks, and the last few nights have been restless and fearful. I know I am not alone in this, but it’s hard to remember that sometimes, when everything seems so big and so very wrong.

 

Today, a man who has lied, bullied, and cheated his way into power will lay his hands on a sacred book and pledge to serve us all. I do not believe that he will serve anyone but himself.

His promise is bullshit.

I will make a real one, to myself, today.

I can promise to serve as many people as I can, for the next four years and beyond, in whatever ways are within my control.

I can promise to learn from my friends who are from different backgrounds, and continue to understand, in deeper and newer ways, that my own experience is not universal. I can pledge to be a better listener, a better advocate, and a better ally. I can reflect on all of the many ways I’ve screwed up in the past: where I have not listened, where I have unintentionally hurt others because I was not aware that my words or my actions were ignorant or selfish. I can swallow my pride, apologize, and move forward. I can do better.

I can share my heart, my home, my resources with those who need it. I can comfort those who are grieving and who are afraid.

I can pledge to listen more.

I can pledge that when I talk, it will be to affirm a simple truth: helping other people is good. (That’s what this all boils down to, isn’t it? Helping others is good. It’s the way we all survive). If you don’t already believe this, I don’t yet have the words to convince you that you should care about other people, but I will do my best to find them.

I will recognize and call out injustice when I see it.

I will try to educate those who are genuinely ignorant. I will not tolerate those who are willfully bigoted.

I will speak up on behalf of those who are afraid.

I will teach more children to develop skills of kindness and empathy.

I will teach adults to do the same.

I will ask for help when I need it.

I will march tomorrow and use my body and my voice to join with other bodies and other voices, shouting as loud as we can that hate has no place in our home. I will remember that the march is only the beginning; it is symbolic of the real work, which is longer, and harder, and more difficult, and more complicated.

I will allow my setbacks to propel me forward, not sink me into despair.

I will read more books.

I will learn from the women who have come before me. I will learn from their courage, their mistakes, their frustrations, their incremental victories.

 

I will cry. I will be angry. I will allow those feelings to move me forward.

I will remember that I am fighting for all of us to live freely, to pursue happiness, to love whom we love, and to do it in a place that is safe. I am fighting for our right to education, and our right to control our own bodies. I am fighting for all of our rights to be free and be happy. I am fighting for our right to love and be loved, even if I do not know yet what form this fight will take.

I will remember that I cannot do this alone.

I will remember to tell you that I love you.

I will fight like hell for all of us.

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46 thoughts on “This I Swear.

  1. You should have run for Pres! Your credibility is no better/worse than DT, but at least you are thinking outside of yourself, and that would be a huge improvement on who you now have as a leader.

  2. You are AWESOME!!!!!!! I’m a mess and will read and reread this. Thank you from the bottom of my broken and hopefully mending heart ❤️

    Blessings, Eileen Gayle

    🐼 eg

    >

  3. Agreed! Well put! Another thing. President Obama suggested we “Show up. Dive in. Stay at it.” In my small corner of rural western NY, strong Trump territory, three resistance groups have formed in recent weeks. We have an ambitious agenda to stay informed of bills and proposals, nominations, hearings, and to actively engage with our elected representatives through phone calls, visits and letters. We will be working to replace representatives who do not reflect values of social and environmental justice. Our membership consists of seasoned volunteers as well as citizens who have never before become involved in the political process outside of voting. Meetings have been well attended. Enthusiasm is high. This kind of empowerment gives life to hope.

  4. Thank you for your pledge. Up here in Canada, many of us will be marching in solidarity tomorrow morning. We can’t let this man and his narrow-minded hateful ways believe for a moment that he doesn’t have a wall of resisters ready and willing to fight for justice, love, and freedom for all. He’ll know we’re pushing back.

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  6. I love your writing so much… always…. but I am SO overwhelmed with this one. Thank you for writing this! I am going to re-post because you say it so much better than I could… I promise!

  7. I love your blog always, and even a little more for this post. I needed this one today–many of us did. So thoughtful and resolute! I will carry this one for awhile, especially as we brave this new, uncertain world starting right about this very minute.

  8. I’ll be right there with you. Making a difference in any way I can. Being an ally. And continuing, day after day. Thanks for putting in to words the things I feel in my heart. You do it so much better than I could.

  9. Good luck in the march tomorrow. I think this is an incredible moment in history and you should be proud to be a part of it. My only hope is that others will see, and it will effect hearts and minds.

  10. Hello there Katherine,
    I just want to say thank you.

    Thank you for sharing these thoughts, positive ones, during such a raw time. I know we are not familiar with each other, but I broke into tears crying while reading your words. I felt as though they were my own. They are my own.

    Empathy. I will try to make this brief, but that is a word that resonates with my soul and yet so many find this such a difficult task. The ability to empathize with other humans. I may never understand it.

    My heart has been so heavy in the last weeks. Individually, but also alongside the world, I carry hope. Hope that each one of us can hold steadfast to our ability to love and believe in ourselves.

    I am sending love and light to you.
    I promise.

  11. Pingback: SIGNPOST: This I Swear. — I Am Begging My Mother Not To Read This Blog | amyjaneandco

  12. Disbelief. Shock. Turned into anger, that something this evil & corrupt, could steal the honour of being legitimately voted in as the President of the United States of America. I am a Canadian, living in Canada,about an hour away from the U.S. border. I respect our democracy, Human rights,Women’s rights, Immigrants rights, everyone’s rights, for Freedom & the American Constitution. We need only sit & watch as the ground Trump stands on crumbles into dust, along with the liars & cheats, to burn in all damnation, eternally. Karma always wins. Always. Love & light. Namaste.

  13. I hear you, and I stand with you and beside you. You are right, we all need to speak up and let our voices be heard. To make a change in this world, we need to become the change, as Gahndi eloquently put it. Praying for better times to all humanity.

  14. KF you are truly my hero. Everyday your voice gets louder and stronger. Keep givin’ ’em hell. I love your words and the mind they come from. This pledge… ❤ ❤ ❤ The only words I would want to change, if I were to borrow this pledge to use myself, are the phrases about fighting. I try to be a Quaker and a pacifist. It's that whole "fucking for virginity" thing. There are plenty of creative, compelling metaphors that are noncombative. I respect many people who feel that 'fight' is not too strong a word, but I disagree. Time to get all Gandhi up in here

  15. Ms. Katherine Fritz:

    I have been a reader of your blog for a few years now, this is my first comment, however.

    I’d like to say that you have an incredible way with words and I really love the fact that you use your special talent to speak up and stand up for what is right. I commend you for that. Not many people have the courage or the empathy to do something for the greater good.

    Not only do you talk the talk, you also walk the walk. I was reading different news reports this morning, as I do everyday, and imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon an article that speaks of a certain “…. Katherine Fritz… teacher at a community college in Philadelphia….” Who started a GoFund me campaign and raised over $60K so far in order to counteract Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s Education Secretary Nominee.

    The Katherine Fritz from that article has to be the same Katherine Fritz from this blog, I am certain of it! I could be wrong, but I am certain it is you 🙂

    Although I do not know you, I’d like to tell you that I am very proud of you. Keep up the good work! That idea you had was very tongue-in-cheek, I LOVED IT! It seems as if money will be the only thing to sway certain senators that should be working on behalf of the people’s greater good. I love the symbolism behing your idea and I’ve no doubt the true meaning behind your efforts was not lost on that particular Senator.

    Thank you, for doing your part to make the worl a better place for the rest of us.

    I wish you all the best!

  16. I always enjoy your posts. I understand that it’s been a rough few weeks for us all, and I will understand if you are not in the mood to write, I just want to say that I look forward to the next time you are.

    I hope you are well. Goodnight and good luck.

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