Good morning! I hope everyone is recovering from election night!
Today, on this first day after the election, I am grateful for freedom of speech. Yes, this is a bit heavy for first thing in the morning (and, honestly, after all the election stuff, I was thinking we needed something lighter today), but I’m going to tackle it anyway.
We are lucky to live in a country where, with few (important) exceptions, we are allowed to say what we think. Dissent and questioning is encouraged and good. We talk about how our differing points of view make this a stronger, more diverse country. People fight and die for this right, and we get it every day.
And the thing about this amazing freedom is that people say the darndest things, right? I have been on Twitter and Facebook during the election and I am loving the positive and encouraging and optimistic posts about the election – from both sides of the political aisle, in fact – about the presidential vote as well as congressional races. I have to admit, though, that I am stunned by the vitriol and hatred spewing forth from other people’s mouths over the election and various issues.
Whether you live in a red state or a blue state, whether you consider yourself a Democrat or Republican, whether you voted for one guy or the other guy or the other guy, at the end of the day, we are all Americans. We live and work together. We see each other in the carpool line. We see each other at the store. Even if you are sorely disappointed in the results of the election, please remember that we are all friends. We are all struggling in some way. We all have opinions and sometimes they conflict. But that doesn’t mean you get to hate.
If the election had come out negatively for me, sure, I would be hugely disappointed. But I honestly cannot say that I would be saying hateful things about the candidate. I would be advocating for equal rights, for the things I believe in, but I would not be calling the president-elect names or ascribe evil motives. Both major candidates are good men. They have families they love. They are dedicated to the betterment of this country. They just have different opinions of how to get there.
We all have different opinions, too. And that’s a very good thing. But before you decide to haul off and tweet or post about how you hate someone, or how we are doomed, think about how someone else reading that might feel. Think about how your words are received by others who are hopeful, even in the face of defeat or struggle.
There was a blog post once – I can’t remember the blog now (sorry) – about how you just never know how someone is feeling inside. As one of my favorite people once said, “Never judge your insides by other people’s outsides.” People are hurting and people are proud. Words are powerful and they can uplift and they can wound. Choose to uplift, when you can, ok?
Thanks for stopping by. Tomorrow I promise to write about something a little more “light,” like the Muppets or something.