Finding Resolve Post-Election

Finding Resolve Post-Election

When it dawns on me that a little over a week ago, I was scratching my head about the events the night before, I realize what a long week it has been.  The sting of that morning may have softened as reality set in and I arrived at acceptance of the extent of my power (or limitations of it).  I feel some comfort in knowing more than half of the country shares in my disappointment following the election outcome, though we all have different ways of coping with that “grief.” Some folks can’t wait to share what they think about the election at every opportunity they get — everything from how elated they are and how much the rest of us should just get over it to how sad, frightful, angry or disappointed they are and when they plan on moving to the Great White North. I have begun to pull away from my personal Facebook page beyond posting the occasional cool pet video because after a while, I grew weary of reading unsolicited advice even from the people with whom I shared sentiments about the results. By the time reality had sunk in, I  didn’t want to hear from anybody anymore about anything to do with this election. I simply needed silence and time, and I wasn’t going to get any of that watching the Facebook feeds or contributing to the conversations and culture of slams from the left and smacks from the right.

 

So this is it. The only blog post you’re going to read from me about the election outcome in 2016. I’m not promising I will be totally quiet next year.

 

We all have different ways of receiving news we don’t especially like. For some, it sends us to our quiet, solitary place. For others, it can inspire us to immediately dust off the boxing gloves and begin fighting everyone and everything that gets in our path. I am all for people exercising their right to protest. We are a democratic society after all. I will admit that I have never demonstrated in protest beyond leaving a signature on a petition but I have friends who have taken part in protests for causes they believed in and been arrested for those demonstrations. I respect anyone who believes so strongly in something that they would risk their position or a clean police record to demonstrate that belief. But I feel protest must be organized, peaceful, and non-violent. It is hardly effective calling out someone for their bullying, intimidating and anger-provoking behavior and words by countering it with violence and threats, no matter how justified the anger or frustration may be.

 

I feel for those who are afraid and uncertain of what policy changes may take place that could create new struggles and those who worry they will be singled out or some who already have experienced retaliatory behavior in the form of actions and slurs that ring racist, misogynist or discriminatory in other ways. There is nothing anyone can say right now that could comfort or reassure you but we must vow to protect you. The safety pin movement while well-intentioned won’t solve everything. But I will remind anyone out there who is fearful of a changing landscape to come that there are 62+million of us (at last count) who did not choose this scenario. And while we must accept that yes, Donald Trump is indeed the U.S. President-elect, our voices will not be muted now or for the next four years.

 

And it may feel like a long four years ahead for some, but the sun will continue to rise and we will be back here again. In the meantime, we must continue —to speak up, to support those who DO represent what we believe in, to do good in the world, to be kind to each other and if we desire change, to initiate it or be a part of it. But we must do all of this while insisting that WE DO NOT LOWER OUR EXPECTATIONS OF OURSELVES OR OTHERS. We cannot let any movement toward speaking or acting in ways that are increasingly disrespectful or discriminatory becoming acceptable behavior to lead us to compromise ourselves.

 

For a lot of us, our greatest New Year’s resolution is going to be to rise above it – rise above any anger, distrust or disappointment. That also means rising above differences that have emerged between friends or family as opposing viewpoints may have created wedges between lifelong ties.

 

So I don’t know about the other 62+ million voters, but I will accept I have a new President. And while I will not adopt an allegiance to his ideas or values (or his cabinet members’) with which I may wholeheartedly disagree, I would never be so foolish or crass to wish ill or failure upon our leader. Whatever would we gain by that? We would all lose.  I will do what I can to hold out hope that by some amazing stroke of luck and unexpected camaraderie across party lines, decisions might be made to help more of the people than only the wealthiest or most powerful few. Sure, it would be easier to stay complacent in my disgust, dismay and disappointment, but that is the lazy way to confront this new scenario before us. I am choosing to stay observant and informed, yet watch with a thread of hope still lingering in this bleeding heart’s ticker.

 

Oh, 2016. You sure have been a pain-in-the-ass year at times. This has been a rough one for many of us: much loss, pain and frustration. While I may not be looking forward to Inauguration Day as I once was, I will remind myself there are 364 other days. I will not let one day rob me of the potential joy of the rest of them.  If you feel like I do, you may want to hop aboard. I could  use the company. ~ Chris xo

 

1 Comment

  1. Well stated, Chris! Thank you!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.