In light of last week’s Presidential election results it’s no secret that as a country we are more divided than ever. From race to religion, economic status, and basic rights for humanity the use of divisive rhetoric has the country torn. Families are up in arms, personal relationships, social circles and what we might have once viewed as safe spaces are no longer. It’s been a tough time for most, no matter what your opinion on the matter has been, and the question for many at this point in time is where do we go from here?
I must admit my emotions are at an all-time high. I’m angry, sad, scared, and disappointed at the true colors that have been revealed over the past week and although I know I have every right to feel the way that I do, and those feeling won’t just magically go away, I also know that we can’t sit still and accept the division as our reality. Unity is a common word and thread through this most trying time and that is something I want to discuss this week.
Unity: the state of being united or joined as a whole.
If you are anything like me when I started hearing people speak about the fact that we need to “get over it” and or “move on” it just made me more upset. I was and still am not interested in moving on for a variety of reasons and frankly as a Woman and POC it’s not that easy. Many people see this mindset as a form of resistance but isn’t resistance what got us here in the first place. Resistance to recognizing the differences that lie within each individual. That it is our personal experiences that shape who we are, what we believe, and ultimately what we do. If you have never been disqualified for anything simply because of the color of your skin, your religion, sexual orientation, or gender then it might be easy, during a time like this, to say move on because it’s impossible to understand what this moment feels like for the “other”. But just because you can’t understand it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist and it doesn’t give any one person the right to further disqualify another person’s mindset by asking them to sweep their thoughts or feelings under the rug.
So again you may be asking yourself where we go from here and I believe that it’s entirely up to you.
There are many things I can’t seem to understand within the decision that has been made but if there is one thing I have learned it is that until we all recognize one another’s differences and learn to create conversation and education around them, it will be impossible to create the unity that we so desperately desire and call for. The reminder that we can all grow from being a bit more tolerant and giving of space and time. The conversations that have emerged on race, social economics, and equality are all necessary for the growth that we need as a whole no matter how uncomfortable they may be.
Therefore, I encourage you this week to get comfortable in the uncomfortable. Asking the hard questions that exist. And not just specific to this election but to life in general. This election has become about so much more than just politics, it’s about life, humanity and the inclusion of all people. If nothing more it has shed light on the truth and as difficult as it is to hear I challenge you to personally sit with it. Get honest with yourself about what issues are important and/or non-negotiable to you. What would you like to see change and how can you personally create opportunity and space to do so. As Gandhi so graciously put it, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. So, when someone one you come into contact with expresses differences in opinion from the way you think, use that opportunity to engage in curious and seeded conversation. Asking questions that require you to dig deep helping you to better see their position while requiring them to dig just as deep providing the necessary insights to potentially bridge the gap.
We’ve regressed to an all-time low on many fronts but I think the one thing the majority of us can agree upon is that the only way OUT is UP and it starts with us as individuals. Earlier this week I saw something that read, the power of the people is still greater than the people in power. If that doesn’t directly speak to the idea of unity I don’t know what does. I don't know about you but I'm excited to see what we can do together.
So let's get to work on creating the change.
“There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” – Edith Wharton