The last few months have been filled with intense anger and outrage from all walks of life. Which, arguably, is very understandable. Recent political events have ignited a fire within our already polarized country and it doesn’t look like that fire is going out any time soon.

Some critics are wondering why people are “wasting” their time protesting. There’s not a dispute that Donald Trump is our President. Using a hashtag #NotMyPresident is going to do nothing to change that. 

But that isn’t what the debate is about. It’s about much more than that. The goal of protests is to make the world look, think and listen. It’s about making our voices heard.

This is the time to share opinions. 

Women's March NYC

KarlaAnnCote on Flickr

Surely, there has been a taboo placed on protesting–thanks to many violent protests taking over the media. Protesting is a quintessential element in democracy. If our ancestors hadn’t protested, we wouldn’t be a nation. But protesting doesn’t need to be violent or physical by any means.

We can protest by the choices we make each and every day: what we purchase, who we vote for, what we watch. And most importantly, we can protest by talking about politics and discussing ideas.  If you don't agree with someone, challenge them–respectfully, of course.  Even if you do agree, play devil's advocate. 

A conflict of ideas is, in fact, a good thing because it leads to a diversity of ideas. 

Memorial Day Ceremony May 24 2012

Presidio of Monterey: DLIFLC & USAG on Flickr

A diversity of ideas leads to collaboration.  Collaboration leads to progress.  America is far from a homogeneous nation, so we shouldn't be thinking as one.  You should challenge your beliefs, and challenge other's beliefs. 

Even in a nation of over 300 million, your opinion isn't an less than anyone else's.  Everyone has the chance to make a difference and fight for change.  If you don't agree with something, whether it is a strong opinion about juice cleanses or about Women's Rights–whatever it may be, it doesn't mean any less.  

Challenge what you disagree with and eventually you'll have the power to change it.  That's what democracy is all about.