What does unity mean to a society that is split between complete chaotic mourning and an exaggerated sense of victory?
Hello, and welcome to post-election America 2016.
I woke up this morning and scrolled through my news/twitter feeds, and immediately regretted my decision to do so. My bleary eyes were greeted by headlines that spoke of rioting in the streets (which, by the way, vaguely reminds me of a temper tantrum), melodramatic posts from celebrities who endorsed Hillary (as if simply hiring one person for one job is the next 9/11), and emotionally charged victory rants from Trump supporters (real mature). This is the first election I can remember that has resulted in this kind of nuclear response.
Despite both of the candidates' statements about striving for unity after this very messy election season, the general mood of the nation as a whole seems to be anything but unified. On one hand, you have those who would organize a celebratory parade (complete with fireworks) if they could do so, and on the other hand there are some who would gladly storm Trump Tower with pitchforks if they could do so without getting shot. So what does unity in this country really look like from this point forward?
The way I see it, there will always be differences in opinion no matter who has the most visible governing position in the country. We can't change what happened, so we might as well work with what we've got and stop expecting everyone to think the same way we do. If we can accept this fact, we can move on together.
To ask a snarky question, did we really believe either candidate was going to do every single thing they implied or stated that they'd do? Clinton would not have been able to take our guns, and Trump will not be able to repeal the legalization of gay marriage. Remember, this is still a democratic-republic we're living in (an albeit flawed one, but still). There is no need to panic about human rights issues. Nobody is going to let our president "grab pussy" or deport millions of illegals without reasonable cause.
We do all share a common ground, regardless of who we voted for (or didn't). As the season of giving thanks for the country we have and the freedoms we enjoy approaches, let's not forget how fortunate we all are to live in a nation where we are legally allowed to decide who leads us, and also allows us to legally protest when we disagree with something our governing powers decide. Remember that kindness does not (or should not) have theological or philosophical boundaries, and that the people you encounter are still much more than their political affiliation.
If I may, I think we need to find common ground with one another on an individual basis. Not an easy task, I will admit. But in order to make this country work and make any progress at all from this point forward, there needs to be a sense of genuine effort to understand each other. To get any large group of people with different worldviews to work together has never been a walk in the park, but it has happened so it is possible. Try to not be angry with others if they don't think the way you think. And definitely try to avoid name-calling, argument-starting (it's not constructive conversation at this point), loud protesting (it's done.), or shaming. That goes for every single one of us. Work with each other like adults, work with who the country elected, and if you believe in it, pray. The world is chaotic enough already, be the light a desperate society needs to see.
Published by Christina Rowland