Election Thoughts: The Rumble, Jolt and Surprise

dsc_0388

We’re all shocked after the elections.  Some are truly happy, some are devastated and there are others that were lacking enthusiasm for however the results panned out either way.  But I think we all can agree that we are surprised by what’s happened.  What has been interesting isn’t the jolt that we’re going to have a presidency that will be dramatically different from what we’ve had maybe ever.  What’s surprising is the manner in which so many of us have handled the rumble.

I see statements that now America is putting behind a corrupt political system.  That if you voted democrat you are for corruption, murder and lies in the White House.  If you’re a democrat you’re okay with letting ISIS into our country via the southern border. Or if you voted republican that you are a misogynist, a racist, anti woman, homophobic and it’s likely you didn’t get a bachelors degree and you’re white. If you voted third party you’re sheeple, a self righteous purist, an idiot for throwing your vote away and it actually was a vote for the bad guy.

Congratulations, we all have been called things that are untrue.

I have some sincere questions and thoughts to share with you my dear reader for whom I have empathy and a deep respect for.  I get how exciting, joyful, apathetic and maddening it all is right now and I want nothing more than for you to feel heard. I know that your view matters greatly.  But I want you to consider how much your opinion matters.

Where do we consider drawing a line in the sand to rein in our opinions?  How much value is in the weight of your words and is it worth polarizing yourself from the other half of the country?

By your passion to let your voice be heard you’re enjoying the right we have to a voice as Americans and it’s at the cost of your respect for a significant portion of the people you share life with.  Here’s the hinge that this ramble is about.  Does your opinion cut you off from others?  If it does, is it seriously worth it?  If your opinion requires insults, belittlement and costing relationship with half of the country I’m sorry, but you are closed minded.  I find it genuinely confusing to see so many say that others need to have an open mind and yet after the election I see the very same people say that they will have nothing to do with anyone who voted for opponent of their favored candidate.

And finally, have you even considered how hard it is to hate someone and what their views are if you were looking them in the eye while trying to prove them wrong?

Don’t let this be the beginning of division.  Let this be an opportunity to stop commenting on every post that provides an opposing argument and instead suggest meeting that person across the table for coffee so you can find a window of understanding into how they formed that view.  Challenge yourself.  See if you can call someone a racist to their face after you take the time to really see them.  I’m thinking it would be tough to call someone an ISIS promoter if you found out why they feel the way they do.

Take the chance to see people.  Use this season as the means to become more loving, more empathetic and to not forget that the other half of the country that voted differently than you are authentic and good people for the most part.  They’re parents who want to see it better for their kids and grand kids.  They’re owners of that business you love in your community.  They’re your coworkers, employers and customers.  They’re your family.  Your children.  Each person despite of who they voted for is a chance to love and honor them for being as human as you are.

Handle the the surprise with grace.  Recognize the jolt and be humble.  See the goodness of so many people who are different than you.  Realize we’re all gonna grow from this.  See that as individuals we face the choice to make America be great not because it ever lost greatness but because we are what makes it such if we’re in it together.

 

With so much love,

Sara

Be The First.

DSC_2154.jpgI’m laying awake tonight thinking of all the things that are bothering me.  As I toss and turn and try to understand what makes me restless I am beginning to see a little theme.  Lately I have noticed the value of being the first at things.  Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to be the first at anything.  I think we humans don’t like being the first at a lot of stuff actually.  It would be preferable for someone else to do it.

This might make me sound like somewhat of a lonely person and lots of the time I am, but it also helps me understand the value of being the person of initiative be it in relationship, friendship, and the daily interactions we have with peers, coworkers or even strangers. I also know the blessing of being on the receiving end of when others have gone first in my life.  Each day provides thousands of little opportunities to let someone know that you see them and value them in whatever capacity you know them, even if it’s just for a few brief moments after which you will never see them again.

So here’s some things I would like to encourage you to always be the first at.  Don’t be the one to wait for these things.

Be the first to call your best friend.

The first to say “hello”.

The first to ask “how are you?”.  And when asked by someone else first, don’t just say “fine”.  Reply with a question for them.

Be the first with any question.  And the first to be quiet and to listen.  Really listen.

The first to send a text to let that person know that you’re thinking of them.  Has it ever ruined your day when someone sent you something to let you know that they were thinking of you?  Don’t be that stalker though. . .

The first to say “love you”.  Say it a lot.  Especially strive to be the first in this.

The first to hold their hand.  To kiss them.

The first to ask “is everything alright?”.

The first to call your parents.  Trust me, it makes their day.

The first to compliment. Tell him he’s handsome.  Tell her she’s beautiful.  Trust me, she needs to hear it many times. She doesn’t just “know”.  This could be your spouse, a parent or a stranger.

The first to be vulnerable.  To admit the hurt, the insecurity, and the pain.

The first to acknowledge and to affirm.  Let them know you see how hard they’re working and they’re trying.  Really this is powerful whether you practice this with the waitress serving your table or your husband putting in 60 hours this week.

The first to invite someone over for dinner.  Or out for a beer.  Don’t forget how it feels to be invited and give that feeling to someone else.  Being invited is wonderful.

The first to start the conversation.  Do it without the angle of talking about yourself.

The first to be quiet when the speaker stands upon the stage or the musician begins to play.

The first to step aside and let them go first.  Along that note, always take the opportunity to hold the door for someone else.

These are merely a few.  When it’s all said and done I feel like less people would feel alone if we each treated each other with the idea that we can be the first to give goodness instead of waiting around for others to be good to us.  Don’t be the one not giving what you could because you’re craving it yourself.

Always be the first to do good and to do it without the intent of showing how good you are or with the idea that it will be reciprocated.  Do it because we live in a world where we can make a difference in the most subtle and smallest ways in the lives of those we love the most and of those we might not know at all. We are all somewhat standing around waiting for the obvious heroic moments in which we will be the hero but really, we are standing in small and seemingly insignificant intersections with which we can make or break people by being the person of initiative or by doing nothing at all wishing they would go first.

Be the one to make another feel significant, to make them feel like they matter and trust me, you are doing the good work by doing anything at all. By doing it first.

Can you imagine if we all did it first?

With so much love,

Sara