It’s me again, your favorite (non)blogger in the 412 area code. I would start this post with an apology as its been almost a month since my last entry, except that it wouldn’t be a sincere apology. And the number one rule of apologies is that they must be sincere. Sorry, not sorry.
Taking a quick break from endless amounts of yoga anatomy and asana homework to write a quick post. One of these days I’ll get back on the blogging train, promise!
I wanted to write a post about the election aftermath, but I feel that I have very little to add to the conversation that hasn’t been said 10,000 times over by people far more (and far less) eloquent than me. So, I’ll keep it short and sweet.
I 100% understand the frustration over the election. Hillary represents everything that is wrong American politics, and Trump represents everything that is wrong with American culture. November 8th felt like playing a game of high-stakes “Would you rather?” Except, you know, real life. I don’t think a single person left the voting booth last Tuesday and felt good about their decision; in most cases, it was a matter of voting for a lesser evil.
Did I ever think that the Republican party would look at Donald Trump and say, “Yep. That’s our guy”. HECK NO. Did I ever think the leader of the free world would so brazenly make fun of people whom he perceives as less than or brag about sexual assault? HECK NO. (Let me briefly detour here to say that if you think p*ssy was the trigger word, you are missing the point) Like most people, I am horrified at many of the comments made by our president-elect.
But more than that, I am concerned with the ripple effect of the election. What really breaks my heart is when I see “peaceful” friends suggesting that violence and destruction should be the response to a Trump Presidency. Or when I hear ignorant jerks making lewd jokes about women/minorities/disabled people simply because they now feel entitled to do so.
When did we become so insensitive and violent as a culture? American culture is supposed to be a melting pot, instead it looks like a middle-school cafeteria tray where the green beans kept in a separate compartment from the chicken tenders. We are so terrified of people who look, think, and pray differently than us that we forget to treat each other with a basic level of dignity and kindness.
We are never going to agree with each other all of the time, but that doesn’t mean we have to respond with hate and violence. How you react to a situation defines who you are as a person – don’t be the guy that tries to burn down Trump Tower, and also don’t be the guy wearing a “Make America White Again” T-shirt.
My overarching message here is that whether you are elated or pissed at the outcome of the election:
DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE. BE KIND.
As Martin Luther King so eloquently stated,
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Jesus, Mother Theresa, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King had one common denominator and it wasn’t a habit of sitting around and bitching. They saw injustice, and they got involved. If you feel that Donald Trump does not represent your views as an American, find a charity or organization that does and get involved. Volunteer. Make a donation. Peacefully protest.
If you agree with Trump and think that we should be focusing our resources on helping veterans instead of immigrants, the same logic applies to you. Get involved. Writing a Tweet thanking our vets for their sacrifices is not the same as actually helping them.
So many of us are quick to point out what is wrong with our country, but very few people are willing to roll their sleeves up get their hands dirty. We can repost internet memes until we are blue in the face, but that doesn’t positively encourage change. Anger is ineffective unless it prompts action. To quote Gandhi,
“Be the change you wish to see in the world”
As we approach this Holiday season, nearly all of us are going to sit across the dinner table from friends and relatives who disagree with us politically. No amount of gloating, whining, boasting, or bitching will change the outcome of the election.
Are either Trump or Clinton worth getting into a heated argument with a loved one over? Probably not. Are you going to change the political opinions of a friend by giving them 15 reasons as to why they voted the wrong way? Again, probably not. There is a reason that they say to never discuss politics or religion at the dinner table; remember that and avoid the urge to beat Uncle George with a turkey leg.
At the very least, can we all agree on being outraged over premature Christmas commercials now that the political ads are over?