There's a reason I don't talk about politics. It's not that I am not a believer. It's not that I don't care about the world around me. It's because in politics, everyone is always right. And there is very little room or respect for anyone who doesn't agree with their beliefs. This election proved that in every respect. I was appalled and disheartened by the way these campaigns were run this election. As Americans we pride ourselves in forward thinking and overcoming obstacles. And yet this election steadily became a platform to fuel fires of insecurity, doubt, and fear. Suddenly, I felt torn in pieces because I now had to choose between which parts of my life credo I wanted to prevail. Suddenly it was no longer a vote on who can run the country better. It became a fight over which person was the bigger sinner. The media played its part. The candidates and their campaigners played their part in this election massacre. But the real sadness for me came in seeing the American people themselves respond to these ideals presented before them. Each candidate laid out their campaign plan. Each candidate used high emotions to seduce voters into choosing them. And it was the ignorance and the ego of the people that made them respond. I'm addressing both sides here, so please, don't think I'm choosing one party over the other. The REAL issue that turned me away from the elections this year was the condoning, by the American people, of these ideals:
- Ends justify the means
- We see what we want to
- Bullying is how to succeed in life
- Forge your way with hatred and once you get your way, take the higher road
THAT is what hurts me to my core with this election. I have seen people I respect and love say, do, "like," and share the most hurtful things during this election. People have been quick to label and accuse. I was actually told in person that if I voted for Hillary I would be a Baby Killer and if I voted for Trump I was a racist and a bigot. In what world do people get to walk around and demean everything a person is into a hateful label simply because they may look at the world in a different way? Who or what gives anyone the right to takes a person's accomplishments and perspectives and transform them into something ugly just because it's a little different?
We all know what was being said. We all know what we chose to believe. We all know what we chose to see. But, BOTH campaign parties became representatives of what people feel inside. It was the PEOPLE who decided to forget that we all have our own opinions and the world is not black and white. It was the PEOPLE who created hurtful memes and shared it with the world. It was the PEOPLE who allowed that hatred to cause division and fighting. It was the ignorance of the PEOPLE and the PEOPLE's drive for drama that fueled the endless verbal assault both sides were advocating. It was also the PEOPLE'S actions that will lay the ground work for our country's future.
How long and how many people have fought and died to make this world a peaceful place with respect for life and each other. And how easily it was torn down with only a few words. THAT'S what scares me about this election.
People still naively believe that pieces can just be picked up and fixed. People still believe that hurtful words can be said and simply forgotten. That hatred can be spread and there be no repercussions. But this is where I find myself feeling hopeless in my resolve to help our children grow to be better adults than we were. I am but one person. What difference can I make? I could spend my whole life teaching little ones to live from love, to treat others with respect, to understand that no human being has the right to judge another, to always be kind and respectful to everyone you meet, and to choose light over darkness. And I know my voice will never be heard because anger always yells louder. Crass is cooler than kind. And because getting angry and indignant is easier than respecting and loving. I only have to look at my social media feeds for proof of that.
There's an age old story meant to teach about gossip that applies here:
Take a pillow. Walk down the street and mark your path with feathers from your pillow. Tomorrow go back and see how many feathers you can collect again. You'll find spreading the feathers was a lot easier than cleaning up the mess it made.
This applies to everything in life. Every choice we make. You cannot walk around doing or saying whatever comes to your mind with the idea that there will be no consequences to your actions. Words can be hurtful. People can be hurtful. Even with healing, even with mending, what is broken is never the same.
Regardless of which person is sitting in the oval office right now, people will be living with the consequences of however they chose to act during this election. My foremost thought is how can I protect my children and those children whose lives I touch from the repercussions of this universal division. My platform is how can I help them be the voice of tomorrow that speaks from love and goodness, from education and proactive thinking, from understanding and tolerance. Today I don't have an answer. It takes a village to raise a child. And I fear in this case, I'm a village of one. Maybe tomorrow will be a little brighter.