I have agonized over writing this post for the past couple of days, a post that many will view as political, a post that may prolong the vitriolic conversation. Although it is being written on the heels of a rabid political campaign season, that is not the intent. So, if you don’t agree with, find fault with, or take offense with anything I have written, don’t read it. All I ask is that you don’t use this platform to continue the hateful rhetoric. That is not me, never has been, and I will delete those comments.
Ok, (deep breath), where to begin? After much reflection, I believe this post was born out of a need to right a wrong, a flaw in my character if you will. I feel the need to point out some of my deficiencies in a public forum, to hold me accountable for changes I plan to make. More on this in a moment.
I, like over half of those who voted in this insane election, did not vote for the President-elect. I will also admit to breaking down and having a good cry when I saw what was to be. This had nothing to do with my need to be on the winning team or my desire to see the first female President in office (but as a woman how great would that be). It had everything to do with me succumbing to my fears. And not my fear for what this change in office would mean for me personally, but the fear for our planet and a potential move to a far less inclusive country, one now filled with diverse thoughts and peoples, one I greatly love. This fear is based on rhetoric I so often heard during the campaign, and I believe it is the fear of many from around the globe, based on what I have read during and since the election results.
I have read some cringe-worthy comments from Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike, and many I believe stem from two emotions, fear and hatred. Anger is a by-product of both. I have seen many of these while on Facebook, and I’ve hovered around Facebook more these past two days than is the norm for me. But I have also seen beautiful, thought-provoking, touching reflections, thoughts that buoy me and give me hope for a brighter day in this country and in the world.
Click below if you’re in need of some lightness and comforting words right now.
I embrace friends across the political spectrum, because I believe our diversity makes us stronger, if we choose to have the openness and strength to give thought to viewpoints that extend beyond our small world. So, for those of you who have ridiculed others for their comments since the election, I believe this is what grief looks like. We all grieve differently and who are any of us to criticize one style over another? We still all believe in free speech, right? Unfortunately, with the advent of social media, it is all out there for everyone to see, much as this post is. When emotions are so raw and people are scared, they say and do things at times that extend beyond their normal. I believe now is the time for patience and kindness, not criticism. If you don’t want to hear any more of what is being said, don’t read it, including my thoughts.
I believe there are always lessons to be learned during difficult times. As I continue to reflect upon what this new country of ours may look like, I have had to look in the mirror and admit a hard truth about myself. Although I take pride in the fact that I believe in a diverse world, where everyone is viewed as an equal, and do my part to help keep this a healthy planet on which we, and future generations will live, I haven’t been doing nearly enough. I give voice to these ideals but have not done enough to allow them to flourish. Although volunteerism where I have my winter home is promoted and encouraged, and I do my part, I must move beyond those borders, as I did so often when I was in the work force. If I had time then, I certainly do now that I am retired. So, I am putting down on paper those causes I feel passionate about, and vow to do more to help those in need, in a real way. I believe this is what we are all called to do to heal this great country of ours, to make us a kinder nation again, to give voice to the impoverished around the world.