Thursday, November 10, 2016

The state of our union - my thoughts

Without getting too deeply into political party issues here, I suspect many of us are feeling overwhelmed with the results of the recent election in one way or another. I went on hiatus from Facebook for most of the fall because I became so tired of reading posts which said:

If you plan to vote for Trump (or Hillary) unfriend me now.

My Facebook friends list includes people from many backgrounds and religions and political parties. While I don't agree with any of them about EVERYthing, and in some cases ANYthing, they are on my friends list because in some way or other we share a connection. Some of the people I disagree with about politics are the people who would be at my door in a moment's notice if I needed them to help with my horses. Some of the people I most agree with would never lift a finger to help me or anyone else. It would never occur to me to tell any of them to unfriend me because they believe something different. (Abuse of children or animals is the one thing I can't tolerate)

If someone's BEHAVIOR or posts on Facebook are so out of line with my beliefs that I can't tolerate it, I would proceed to unfriend them myself and not take the passive-aggressive path of posting that all such people should unfriend ME.

We all have to move forward from what has been a stressful and difficult campaign season. We have to move forward now. I think the way we have to proceed is this:

We are all people who live in this country.

We all have the ability to change our personal behavior and examine our perspectives on things we do not understand or believe. 

We live in neighborhoods and communities and we can focus some of our energy on being good people in those contexts.

We can choose to put energy and hours into causes we believe in. Volunteering is a great thing. It's DOING something. Writing daily posts on Facebook bashing other people does nothing productive. Calling people idiots because they supported a different political candidate doesn't add anything productive to a conversation.

Let's all commit to finding something we can do that matters - to us, to someone else, to animals, to the environment, to a group of people who need our advocacy and voice. 

And above all, we have to get in touch with our own shadows, our own baggage, and our own journeys to be the kind of people we want to be in this world. If we take care of how we act and react, if we aim to be good to the people we meet in our daily lives, and stand up for others when they cross our paths and need our help, that will make a big difference in the world. Maybe the biggest difference of all. 


Grey Horse Matters said...

First of all regardless of who anyone backed in this campaign there is no reason anyone should be so rude as to request that you unfriend them because you didn't agree with their choice. I think that shows a degree if how immature some people are. Just because there is a difference of opinion doesn't justify a request to unfriend a person you would never want to hear from again because you don't back their candidate.. I've never heard of such nonsense. Yes, there is a huge divide in the country now and I agree with you that we all need to come together and work for the good of all. Or do something that makes it better for a person,animal or cause we believe in. Did my choice win?No. Am I disappointed? Yes very. Am I worried what's going to happen to this country in the next four years? Very scared,yes. Am I never going to talk to or befriend others because I feel they made the wrong choice? No, I'm not,everyone is entitled to their opinion or vote whether I agree with them or not. That's life. It is what it is and we'll all have to deal with the future in our own way the best we can.

billie said...

I loved reading your words, Arlene - thank you for sharing them here!

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Living in such a tiny community on my island, I've had to take this lesson to heart since long before the debacle of Tuesday. Mostly for practicality's sake. If I didn't, I'd have few friends (and worse than that) fewer customers.

Here's a bit of an email I just sent out to a blog friend. We must all be on similar wavelengths, which is an encouraging sign.

"I would suggest watching Hillary’s gracious concession speech if you haven’t already. Tim Kaine’s introduction, and president Obama’s follow-up are wonderful as well. If they can be okay with this situation, so can we all.

It always helps me to remember that the only thing we can control is our reaction to outward events. And to send out into the world, energy and action-wise, what we want the world to be. Think what we could achieve if everyone (all the good, positive people) adopted that strategy.

It reduces stress considerably too - a great side effect."

billie said...

This is wonderful, C - so glad to read these words too!

Matthew said...

Loved this blog post. We simply cannot afford to succumb to tribalistic thinking about other human beings simply because we come to different conclusions about political candidates, philosophical or religious beliefs, or nationality. Thank you!

billie said...

Thanks, Matthew!!