I went early to bed last night. I was tired, cranky, and not mentally prepared for the stress of watching the poll numbers come in. I woke up at 5:30am and grabbed my phone to see what happened last night. Out of habit, I opened Facebook first.
The first post I saw was a long and heartfelt rant by a friend to Trump voters that started with the words, “You have just elected a man who has no qualifications to be president.” From there, he says many things about Trump’s KKK endorsement, bullying tactics, and rude, cruel and offensive comments.
Although I agree with what was written, agreeing with him will NOT change the outcome of the 2016 election.
Then a friend I have a tremendous amount of respect for asked the question why? He recognized in his post that America is angry and distrustful of the “mainstream political machine”, but he writes that he is baffled by the decision to choose Trump because of his history of misogyny, malicious insults, and lack of experience.
So to answer my friend’s question of why, I thought about the family and friends in my life who support and voted for Trump and really tried to see this 2016 election from their point of view.
I can appreciate the anger and fear. I can appreciate good people who have felt betrayed and lied to by our government.
They don’t trust politicians; they want change and believe that an outsider is the change we need. They see him as a businessman and the crude and hateful speech is only “real talk”. They want someone who puts it all on the table and says the things that they believe others are thinking but don’t say.
We all have negative and dark thoughts. Trump, just lacks the ability to censor himself or “play the game.” His lack of tact makes him honest, which is a viewed as a refreshing change from the very careful and deliberate, possibly not genuine, words we hear from leaders today.
While I may not agree with the decision our country has made, it is time to stop complaining and arguing and time to move forward.
My 9-year-old woke up and said “oh crap” when we told him Trump won the election. He said that at school, kids chant things like “build a wall” and “make America great again.”
I told him that it is really important now more than ever to be kind and understand that you can be friends with someone that thinks differently than you do. For example, you love soccer and some of your friends don’t.
They are still your friends. I then asked him to join me for my morning meditation practice. He sat with me for 7 minutes listening to Guru Mantra by Marcie Anderson through the app: Insight Timer.
He left for school with a smile on his face ready to get back to what’s important to a little boy in the fourth grade: playing with his friends, grabbing some of his Halloween candy, and flipping water bottles.
I want to believe that Trump realizes he needs to surround himself with people who can help him be the president he described in his 3am speech. Despite his campaign being about division, he stated:
“Now it is time for America to bind the wounds of division. It is time for us to come together as one united people. It is time.”
I want to believe that can happen.
So what’s next after the 2016 election?
It is time to practice forgiveness, compassion and kindness. Those of us who did not want to elect a president who is full of anger, prejudice, and hate, need to live the values we want to see in this country.
Continuing to rant, complain and spew hateful rhetoric toward Trump only makes us part of the problem we need to work on solving. We need to move on.
We need to support each other. We need to practice empathy and understanding. We need to come together for the common good of this country.
It is known that what we practice becomes what we are good at. By complaining and vilifying others, we create patterns in our mind that keep us stuck in the role of victim, and make it much tougher to stop the negative cycle leading to depression and anxiety.
It is time to show empathy and be kind again. It starts with us. Be what you want to see. Practice mindfulness, compassion and kindness. Be the good you want to see and life goes on…