We’re all shocked after the elections. Some are truly happy, some are devastated and there are others that were lacking enthusiasm for however the results panned out either way. But I think we all can agree that we are surprised by what’s happened. What has been interesting isn’t the jolt that we’re going to have a presidency that will be dramatically different from what we’ve had maybe ever. What’s surprising is the manner in which so many of us have handled the rumble.
I see statements that now America is putting behind a corrupt political system. That if you voted democrat you are for corruption, murder and lies in the White House. If you’re a democrat you’re okay with letting ISIS into our country via the southern border. Or if you voted republican that you are a misogynist, a racist, anti woman, homophobic and it’s likely you didn’t get a bachelors degree and you’re white. If you voted third party you’re sheeple, a self righteous purist, an idiot for throwing your vote away and it actually was a vote for the bad guy.
Congratulations, we all have been called things that are untrue.
I have some sincere questions and thoughts to share with you my dear reader for whom I have empathy and a deep respect for. I get how exciting, joyful, apathetic and maddening it all is right now and I want nothing more than for you to feel heard. I know that your view matters greatly. But I want you to consider how much your opinion matters.
Where do we consider drawing a line in the sand to rein in our opinions? How much value is in the weight of your words and is it worth polarizing yourself from the other half of the country?
By your passion to let your voice be heard you’re enjoying the right we have to a voice as Americans and it’s at the cost of your respect for a significant portion of the people you share life with. Here’s the hinge that this ramble is about. Does your opinion cut you off from others? If it does, is it seriously worth it? If your opinion requires insults, belittlement and costing relationship with half of the country I’m sorry, but you are closed minded. I find it genuinely confusing to see so many say that others need to have an open mind and yet after the election I see the very same people say that they will have nothing to do with anyone who voted for opponent of their favored candidate.
And finally, have you even considered how hard it is to hate someone and what their views are if you were looking them in the eye while trying to prove them wrong?
Don’t let this be the beginning of division. Let this be an opportunity to stop commenting on every post that provides an opposing argument and instead suggest meeting that person across the table for coffee so you can find a window of understanding into how they formed that view. Challenge yourself. See if you can call someone a racist to their face after you take the time to really see them. I’m thinking it would be tough to call someone an ISIS promoter if you found out why they feel the way they do.
Take the chance to see people. Use this season as the means to become more loving, more empathetic and to not forget that the other half of the country that voted differently than you are authentic and good people for the most part. They’re parents who want to see it better for their kids and grand kids. They’re owners of that business you love in your community. They’re your coworkers, employers and customers. They’re your family. Your children. Each person despite of who they voted for is a chance to love and honor them for being as human as you are.
Handle the the surprise with grace. Recognize the jolt and be humble. See the goodness of so many people who are different than you. Realize we’re all gonna grow from this. See that as individuals we face the choice to make America be great not because it ever lost greatness but because we are what makes it such if we’re in it together.
With so much love,