So, the last time I blogged it was the day after the Presidential election in November, and some people were elated, while others, including me, were not. And I wanted to think about the fact that on a human level, we all hurt, and those hurts and wanting not to have them anymore, often plays into how you vote, and to how you feel when your person wins. Or doesn’t. I was raw.
In the month that has passed, there has been a lot of ugliness, and hate crimes, and generalizations, and just trying to make sense of everything, and how people are feeling, and why they feel that, and whether or not you even care how they feel, because, well, you have to live your life.
Which is how the heck we got here.
So I ask you to take a step back and really look at your fellow humans and ask WHY they feel the way they feel. We have acknowledged THAT we hurt. But do something to figure out why. People aren’t just whining because their candidate lost, and if you stick with calling people Buttercup and deciding that they are just sore losers, or calling them Deplorable and decided that they are all just wretched, you miss why they are sore and bleeding. And it isn’t about losing a daggone election. There are so many things happening that affect real lives on a basic level. Here’s just one of mine: I can say for me, that an administration that wants to deny the existence of institutional racism, and who thinks that profiling people and whether they will commit crimes based on how they look directly challenges the physical, moral and dignity of existence of me and my husband and my son. This is not okay. No. Not. This is what’s going on for me, and I am sure that you have your own things that give you pause, that challenge your existence, that influenced your vote for or against the President-elect, or for or against his Democrat opponent.
I would like to hear it. Like really hear it. Because we aren’t going to get anywhere if we aren’t listening to what’s going on in other people’s lives.
Last month I was at the funeral for my husband’s beautiful sister in Texas, and after the service, everyone went back to my niece’s house for fellowship and the most ridiculously awesome mashed potatoes that had butter swimming on the top. Yes. That is the good stuff. And as we ate, I was talking to a couple from my family’s church, and it turned out that they and my husband had lived on the same military base in Japan, and as they talked and remembered what it was like to drive in blinding white snow, and compared notes on people they knew, and the sights, I didn’t have anything to add to the conversation at the level that they did because I never lived there. But instead of just listening at first, I realized that I was trying to catch pieces of the conversation to turn things back to stuff that I could comment on, not so much because I wanted to be a part of the conversation, but because I wanted something to say in a talk I knew nothing about. And when I realized what I was trying to do, I kinda kicked myself, and just sat there and really immersed myself in the conversation around me, until I could see what they saw because they described it so well. And I learned.
And this is what I challenge us all to do. Really find out what’s going on in other people’s lives who are different from you. I guarantee you that if we did that, we would have less division, because I couldn’t reduce you to talking points, and you couldn’t do that to me. Because people aren’t just licking their wounds. People feel like their lives are being threatened. I am not being dramatic, even though I am an actress and do drama well. Just keep your eyes and hearts open. I promise to do the same. I am not content to saying, “Oh well, we got 4 more years. We can win in 4 more years.” Because seriously, if people were less concerned on either side with winning than they were about making people’s lives better, well, maybe people’s lives will be better. And maybe we would have less “sides”.
Okay, I am starting to repeat myself. But just really try to see what’s going on, okay? What’s going on with you?