I’ve had some seriously strong feelings going on the past few days. Throughout the 2016 election, I personally found more and more reason to vote against Trump and after the results came in, I felt shocked, sad, stressed, scared, and hopeless. Not for myself but for others and the social progress of our country. This emotional rollercoaster had me thinking there was no way a man who made me feel that way should be a leader of the country I, and so many others, call home. And man did I stand by that feeling.
After taking a breath and clearing my head a bit, I decided to keep an open-mind and read some people’s thoughts. I surprised myself at finding arguments on both sides to be valid. What I also found though, was a lack of empathy for the other side on both ends.
People care, and people are passionate. Passionate about different things but they all are trying to do the right thing for the people and place they love.
It all stems from that. Love. All these accusations, name-calling and heated social media posts come from a very strong need to protect something. Something or someone we love.
I’ll admit that today I said some hurtful things to someone I have the utmost respect for because our views were not coinciding. What I thought I was doing was standing up for what’s right but ironically I ended up doing the very thing that I thought I was standing up against- bullying. And I think it’s happening time and time again. People are lashing out on the opposing side not bc they are choosing to hate but bc they have a lot of love- just not for the same people or idea.
But that’s okay. We don’t all have to have the same people in mind when we think of who we want to make this country better for. We’re all different individuals who come from different backgrounds and are made up of different experiences, each with feelings that are real and true. We should respect those feelings no matter who or where they’re coming from, and do our very best to empathize with them. Afterall, it’s our diversity that makes us so special.
What is wrong, however, is ignoring the personal attack that this election brought against many of our fellow citizens. The attack wasn’t about taxes, or financial security or even healthcare, it was about human worthiness and social progress. Whether or not Trump supporters believe President Trump meant the things he said or will act on the things he said, he still said them. And words hurt. But it also goes the other way…
I’m no counselor but I think if we just tried our hardest to listen – really listen – to someone else’s reasoning, we would learn just how much we have in common. Not just as the American race, but also as the human race.
So here’s to a new era, a new beginning and a new opportunity to show each other, our leaders and the world how much we can and do love.