I have been (mostly) silent about my thoughts concerning the election results from Tuesday.
In the simplest terms, it did not go how I wanted nor how I expected it to, and those ARE two entirely different scenarios in my mind.
However, Donald Trump was voted in as President-Elect of the United States, and by some recent accounts, he even won the popular vote.
I do not like Donald Trump, nor did I want him as my president, but the fact remains that come January 20, 2017, he will be, and I will respect that.
I will pray for him and respect him as the leader of my country, because to do otherwise destroys the foundation of electoral process. His acceptance speech gives me hope that he will be more open and inclusive than the words he ran for the White House on lead me to believe he would be.
And that’s the thing here.
This country has gone insane in the last few days. I’m not naïve. These issues have been heating up for over a year now, but Tuesday made it boil over.
People are protesting and rioting, destroying other people’s property, and disrupting traffic in cities.
A young woman claimed she was robbed of her wallet and her hijab, only for it to turn out to be a falsehood that would only add more strife for the Muslim community.
An elderly man was pulled from his car and brutally beaten, possibly for a traffic altercation, but according to the woman filming it, for being a Trump supporter.
I have seen so many of my Facebook friends call others names or insult the intelligence of people who voted for the other candidate (whoever the other candidate for that particular person would be). I’ve seen people BRAG about deleting people from their friend list.
People are writing racial slurs and threats on public monuments and property.
There are many calling for the ASSASSINATION of another human being.
A woman, a supposed mother (and I use that term in the loosest sense possible) filmed herself kicking her young son out of the house for “voting” for Donald Trump in a mock classroom election.
That last incident was MY boiling point, and I couldn’t stay silent any longer.
As I watched that child sob and cry for his mom to take him back, my heart broke into pieces, my eyes burned with tears, and my rage at that woman left me shaking.
What have we come to, that someone who should be loving and protecting her child, discussing issues with him rather than threatening him, would emotionally and psychologically abuse her child OVER A FREAKING ELECTION?
I understand that people are scared. I can’t imagine what it must be to belong to the Muslim community, the LGBTQ community, the Hispanic community, or any other oppressed or minority group aside from that of being a woman.
My heart hurts at your fear and anger and own hurt, but remember this:
Two wrongs do not make a right.
As cliché as that sounds, it is so incredibly true.
What if, instead of meeting hatred and fear with MORE hatred and fear, we met it with kindness and love and consideration and compassion?
We are so eager to affirm our own points of view that we won’t listen to other people’s points of view.
“You’re disagreeing with me, so you’re WRONG, and STUPID, and RACIST, etc., etc.”
We don’t have to agree with each other to be kind to each other.
Wednesday, as I was leaving work, a homeless man cussed me out for being white, among other things.
I could have snapped back at him.
Instead, I told him to have a good day, and in a seeming effort to out-kind me, he replied angrily, “NO, YOU have a BLESSED day.”
A few words of kindness turned his angry curses to angry blessings. I’ll take the angry blessings any day.
That’s my point: we may still be angry when we choose to return anger with kindness, but that kindness changes the conversation, even just a little bit.
All those friends I see bashing other people for their choice of candidates? I could block those people or delete them from my friend list, but if I leave them there, they can see the positive things I choose to post.
Y’all, I’m not perfect. I share things that aren’t always positive, but most of the time, I do try to share things that show the bright side of life. If I remove someone from my friend list, and (assuming they had not blocked my posts in the first place), they no longer see those happy things, that’s one less reason for them to smile.
If I can make JUST ONE PERSON smile with my posts, I will consider that I have made a difference in the world. I will have been the change I want to see in the world.
How can I be that change if I shut down the relationship, though?
I KNOW these are tense times. I know Trump has said some crappy things and that there are people who believe those same crappy things, but there are also people who voted for him that are just fed up with the system, and he’s saying things that will possibly change that system.
Don’t paint an entire group of voters (a majority of the voting population, it seems) with the same brush.
The same can be said for those who voted for Clinton or Johnson or Stein. Don’t group those people in a “stupid, wrong” category just because they disagree with you.
We’re all in the same boat together, so we need to come together and make a difference in our communities.
Instead of spewing hate and shutting down friendships, reach out with love and compassion. Open conversations. Hug your neighbor. LOVE your neighbor.
Treat others the way you want to be treated.
That’s all I’ve got to say. Thanks for reading. I’m glad to be back.
Please, please, please. If this post has inspired you to do nothing else, at least consider where you may be spreading hate, and instead choose to spread love.
It’s really not that hard.
(Okay, I lied. I had a couple more things to say.)
I’m done now, though.
Much love, my friends,