Saturday, November 12, 2016

Just Get Over It?

"He who cannot put his thoughts on ice should not enter into the heat of dispute."
~FriedreichNietzsche,  Human, All Too Human

What a week we have had. We elected a new president in a nailbiter of an election and in the course of the campaign friendships and even families have been destroyed. I've heard of people disowning siblings, parents, even children for not voting their beliefs. And this is on both sides of the ticket.

I have to be honest, I've hidden some of my friends who are adamant Trump supporters from my social media. I would never defriend them if I know they are truly kind, generous and genuinely good people so I do it to save our friendship. I know they have a reason for their decision that I don't understand. Soon I'll bring them back to see pets, kids, and silly memes about wine again.

But I am going to say to those who elected our president that telling a country to "just get over it" is not so easy. You made a decision and elected this man, now show some compassion and understanding for the fears that come along with him.

Understand that LGBT friends fear for their rights and their safety. They now have a vice-president who believes they can be "cured" and a government that is mostly against their very existence. They have a right to worry, be frustrated and upset.

Understand that your Muslim, Latino and African-American friends are at a higher risk of hate crimes against them because of insightful things stated on the campaign trail. Some people, not you, have used this win as a free pass to be violent. This election has given new wings to the KKK among other white supremacy groups. You may not fully be able to appreciate worrying about increased violence to your children because they have a different skin color, accent or religion. So give them your kindness and support until we can find a way to end such hatred.

Understand that sexual assault victims cringe at the things their new president has said and possibly done. Understand how difficult that is as a survivor to watch someone who has spent his life treating women like objects to be judged and used become your leader. Respect their right to feel what they feel.

Understand that some children, not yours but others, do fear him and need extra support to know that they will be safe.

Understand that our new president has destroyed businesses and people's lives on his ladder to "success" and that is personal for them. Put yourself in the shoes of so many who lost everything due to multiple bankruptcies, through no fault of their own. Could you really say, "Well, that's just business?"

I'm not proud of what some people on the Democratic side have done since the election but that's not me. Just as the racism, sexism, and violent bullying is not you.

What we need is time to heal and the best way to do that is through compassion and understanding. This is not a normal election. Maybe, instead of continuing to attack each other, telling everyone to get over it, we could try to understand each other and help each other move forward the best way that we can, together.

The top quote is something I fear about our new president. The fact that his staff had to take away his Twitter account before the election gives me pause as to how he would handle disputes with other countries. So instead of just telling me I shouldn't worry tell me why I shouldn't. Explain to me what you know to be true and I will listen. I might not agree but that's okay. I might just understand something more clearly than I did before.

We can have a conversation. We can be kind and civilized. We can try to see a different point of view even if we may never agree.

Stories of hate and violence are pouring in but I'm also hearing stories of love and compassion, of courage to help someone in need.

We have four years to try to make the best of it. The only way I see it being successful is by promoting peace and understanding over name-calling and violence.

And I do say that to both sides.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."
~Jimi Hendrix