Over the past week, I've thought a lot about our Presidential election. It didn't turn out the way many thought it would, and certainly not the way I wanted it to. I was in shock for a day or two, had some good discussions with coworkers, and mostly avoided commenting on social media. (Not that I didn't want to!) But I have too many coworkers, friends and family members on both ends of the political spectrum that all have their opinions and beliefs, just as I do. I refuse to argue that any beliefs are any less relevant than mine. Discussions are good, but name-calling and insults are pointless. I only have my own experiences to draw from, as does everyone else. I have LGBT friends and family members, as well as dear friends from other cultures. I find everyone fascinating, and whether I like their ideas or not, I try to see why they believe what they do. Everyone has their reasons - I only hope to receive the same respect for my beliefs.
I might be disappointed with this election, but I will stay steady in my beliefs and fight (vote) for what I believe in. I don't have to like the President Elect's ideas, but I will hold my tongue and give him a chance to make things better. Elections are like this - back and forth. Each candidate thinks they can do better than the other. No one can change anything overnight or all alone.
What really bothers me the most are the reactions on BOTH sides. The gloating and "told-you-so" attitudes, as well as the protesting, blocking and whining. Where did all this nastiness come from? Why can neither side win or lose gracefully? The hatefulness is incredible. What good can this possibly be teaching our children?
We've tried to teach our kids to be open-minded, kind, and respectful problem-solvers. But our world shows them how to fight, hate and be nasty to get what they want. In my oh-so-practical brain, the hypocrisy is incredible. I don't understand what happened to "working together". And honesty and truth. Sheesh - out the window. Pretty sad when candidates can't tell you what they'll do for you, but they can tell you a million reasons why the other guy is your worst nightmare. Most of the time I wasn't sure who the ads were promoting. And most proclaim "integrity". Maybe I have a different definition of that word?
I have many reasons to be bitter about a lot of things, but it certainly wouldn't do me any good. My husband is back to work at a permanent job after several years of temporary jobs that started during the recession in 2009. The nasty comments about unemployment and jobless people were pretty disheartening. We have also lost 11 family members during the past 4 years - ranging in age from 11 to 80-something. Watching loved ones grieve is so hard! Bitter? I could be that crabby old bluebird instead of a happy one.
But we've also had our daughters' weddings to celebrate, as well as other family and friends being blessed with weddings, babies and good health. So I choose to be happy and optimistic about the future! I'd rather count my blessings than complain about how bad it is. Or protest that things aren't going my way. I'm on the right side of the dirt, and there are so many wonderful things to look forward to. A little hope does wonders.