Has the election taken a toll on your personal relationships?
The Election Cycle of 2016 has definitely shown the ugly under belly of this country. Unfortunately, I think we still have a long way to go before the dust will start to settle. Like most of you, I was looking forward to election night, not only because we would finally know who was going to be our next President, but it would hopefully be the end of the mud-slinging. I was hopeful this country could start finding a way to unite under our soon-to-be new leadership. Finally, we have a chance to step back, take a few deep breaths and clear our heads. No such luck.
I’m not going to get into the nitty-gritty of why I think we are all acting like animals. I’m not going to go into who I think is right or wrong, because I think we have all contributed to some extent for the mess that we now find ourselves in. I’m not going to say who would be a better President, or concentrate on the vile things that were said from all the candidates to each other and to their constituents. Continuing to dredge up these things is a huge reason why things seem to be even more toxic now. There is not just one person who is to blame. No, I’m speaking to EVERYONE. I don’t care what political party you affiliate with. I don’t care about the color of your skin or the god you pray to. I don’t care about your age or your financial status. Seem harsh? I don’t think so. It’s time for everyone to stop being so thin-skinned and so easily offended. Because at the end of the day, we all want the same things: happiness, love, peace, success, family.
So why isn’t THAT our focus?
One word comes to my mind… P.R.I.D.E.
When all you post on your Facebook page, Twitter account, or any social media site, is negativity, sweeping generalizations, articles that incite fear, hate, and divisiveness without ANY solutions or attempts to an open dialogue, I have to wonder if you REALLY want peace. I have to wonder if you are thriving on conflict as a way to avoid self-reflection, because after all, none of us are perfect. I have to wonder if you are so bogged down in your own form of bigotry and racism that you fail to see or hear what someone else is saying. I have to wonder if you would rather problem solve based on your personal feelings, rather than seeking out the facts. And I have to wonder if in the end, you really don’t care what those facts might be. If you do care, you may find that you could actually be wrong on some things, and that would require YOU to make some changes. We do not all come from the same place. Yes, our own personal experiences play a major role in who we are and how we think, but the learning process doesn’t stop once we reach a certain age or status of success. We are more alike than we think we are. We all deserve to be heard. We all deserve to be respected.
Having said that, I respect that everyone is in a different place; we will never 100% agree on everything. I’m okay with that, but continuing to perpetuate the very things you decry is exhausting, and sucks the life out of everyone. There is so much over saturation of the media from every side, and all it’s doing is causing more fear, anger and division. For me, I am caught between a rock and a hard place. It’s gotten to the point that I fear for my husband’s safety when he leaves the house because he is a white man. I’m afraid that some will want to cause him harm; that he will be perceived as something he’s not. I’m afraid that some will want to harm me, a minority, because they will perceive me as something I am not. I worry about my gay friends who are afraid for their safety; reasons you may not understand, but very real for them. I worry about my white family, the one I was adopted into and never judged me or treated me differently because I am different from them. I worry about my Christian friends who have been deemed “deplorable”, and none of which I know to be KKK members who hate minorities, are homophobic, or advocate violence against women. I worry for the world we are leaving for the next generation and the horrible examples we are being for them. Most of all, I worry that too many are feeling hopeless and choose to give in to the things that may divide us. We need to get over ourselves. We need to start working TOGETHER. We need to close our mouths, stop the finger-pointing, and just listen. We need to be more empathetic and compassionate. The struggle IS real, but different for us all. Acceptance is the first step to healing. Surround yourself with people who encourage those around them, not those who continue to focus on how horrible life is.
Remember, you become like the people you surround yourself with.
Look around, do you like what you see and hear?
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