In an undisclosed beach city on the California coast, I was talking to a young woman while she took my order for an acai bowl, and the subject of the state of affairs in our country came up.

Unlike here in Utah, where at the outset of most conversations I have to allow for the likelihood that I am engaging a Trump supporter, I find more often than not that in larger cities along the coast, a more open-minded and educated mindset prevails.

Yes, I just said that if you support Trump, your educational prowess is in question.

In any case, she said to me that she thought these were perilous times and that the uncertainty of the future was more intense than any time she had known in her life.

I nodded that I understood and somewhat related but thought perhaps this was an opportunity to articulate a thought that has been ruminating in my head for the last week or so.

First I told her that I was pretty certain my parents as well as hers had at one point likely said the same thing. And our grandparents and their parents for that matter as well. What would define these times would not be the perpetrator’s avarice, malice, and what they unleashed on the world. What would define these times is how people responded to them. I told her democracy was fledgling in the balance, but it was not dead. Not by a shot.

I gave her an analogy I thought she might relate to. She had told me she was a surfer and liked to sail. I asked her when she thought she was at her best in the water, when the sea was calm or when the wind and swell was up the ocean raged. I asked her if she realized that in those conditions, that she was likely at her best because the conditions demanded it. Experience and skill were all pulled out from a deep place honed over time to be acutely present in the moments where the consequences of decisions were heavier than normal.

She began to see the correlation and I hope you do to here.

Donald Trump and his administration are the living embodiment of what the founders were protecting us from when they drafted the papers that laid the foundation for this nation. A clear and present threat to dignity and liberty as nation is as focused as any has ever been in this group, and it is understandably easy to allow fear to overcome you.

But take heart, because the storm, while doing some damage, has also brought out the very best in us, not only here in the states, but across the world. Those who would stand up to tyranny have not recoiled.

And when at last the waters again calm, history will reflect what has happened. Paraphrasing King Leonidas here, “The world will know that free men stood against a tyrant, that few stood against many, and before this battle was over, even an orange megalomanic can bleed.”

See you out there.

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Dallas Hyland is a professional technical writer, freelance writer and journalist, award-winning photographer, and documentary filmmaker. As a senior writer and editor-at-large at The Independent, Hyland’s investigative journalism, opinion columns, and photo essays have ranged in topics from local political and environmental issues to drug trafficking in Utah. He has also worked the international front, covering issues such as human trafficking in Colombia. His photography and film work has received recognition as well as a few modest awards and in 2015, he was a finalist for the Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Based in southern Utah, he works tirelessly at his passion for getting after the truth and occasionally telling a good story. On his rare off-days, he can be found with his family and friends exploring the pristine outdoors of Utah and beyond.