Post-election thoughts

We, in the United States, have just come out of a historic election. It is an election that put many people between a rock and a hard place. There was so much hate on each side for the candidates we were given. Many people voted on policy, even though they couldn’t stand behind either of the candidates as people. I did that, too, which left me voting for the green party.

I think there was a lot of soul searching. I think we all hoped that when this election was over, things would go back to normal. But, most people aren’t feeling normal.

I’ve seen family fights on Facebook. I’ve seen people gloating. I’ve seen people mocking the people who are trying to process things. Maybe social media isn’t the place to process things, but it’s happening there as well as in in-person discussions.

I work as a barista at a local wellness bar. People are coming in and talking. Some visiting for quite awhile. People are trying to figure out what happened. A few are very angry. A lot are experiencing grief. Many are very worried for the future of our country. People with kids are saying that they didn’t know what to tell them the day after the election – even crying at the thought of breaking the news to them.

People are feeling unsafe.

I don’t think we’ve ever experienced this before.

This is not a result of just policy. This is mostly the result of hateful rhetoric – ever the course of months – from the president elect of these United States. Only we aren’t united. Not anymore.

Why am I writing this blog post? I’m writing it because I want the people who are happy with the election results to back off. I want them to let others who are really struggling just be. Don’t be jumping in the face of a grieving person. That’s just not nice. This was an extreme election. Give people some grace and space. Let the candidate you are happy with prove to the rest of the world that things are going to be okay. Because that’s what you believe, right? So sit back, relax, and wait for everything to fall into place.

And, believe me, I understand how YOU are feeling. “Why do we have to back off? We really do think this is a great thing!” It’s okay, back off anyway.

Meanwhile, those of us who are trying to hold onto hope have some work to do. Here are some things to consider:

The racism that has been exposed by this election has been brought out of its dark hiding places. Now that we can see it, maybe we have a better chance of cleaning it up. (BTW, have you seen this campaign? I’ve started wearing my pin.)

People are waking up to the realization that we can’t look to government for answers. We need to start within ourselves and at the community level. I think there are a lot of people planning on getting more involved to make this world a better place. At least that’s what I’ve heard in my discussions. My own focus has been – and will continue to be – health, wellness, and the environment. And – always – for all people to feel loved and valued. Pick something. You’ll feel good about doing something to make the world a better place, no matter how big or how small a thing it seems. And believe me, it’s a huge thing.

Men – especially white men – have the opportunity to do a LOT of good right now. To speak up when “the guys” are objectifying women. To speak up for people of other races. To be an example to the younger generation even if the “good ol’ boys” won’t change.

This is going to open up a lot of conversations between parents and children on how to treat people with respect, kindness, and love. It also raises the observation that even though you hold a leadership position, you may not necessarily be a leader – a good lesson for children to learn. A good lesson for all of us to learn.

I think this election is going to be the impetus to a kinder, gentler country. It may seem like just the opposite of that right now, but I think that’s why it will happen. It may take awhile, but I think we are on our way.

And to all the young adults devastated by this. I understand. Stay strong. Your voice will be heard as more of the older generation dies off. Meanwhile, work for everything you’ve already been working for – acceptance of all people, globalism (as opposed to nationalism), the environment, and working towards healthy food systems. And all the other things I haven’t mentioned. Follow your passions and your passions will change the world. And teach the rest of us. Some of us may be slow learners – it’s hard to give up old ways – but stick with us!

Lastly….

May all beings know peace.

May all beings know love.

May all beings know tolerance.

May all beings know safety.

May all beings be blessed.*

*Credit for this way of prayer/raising consciousness goes to Matt Kahn, who I originally listened to as the result of a comment on a Facebook post about the election and loved this way of sending out the opposite energy of what we and the world are experiencing.