Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Morning After


Happy Wednesday!

It’s the day after an historic election.

We knew yesterday that history would be made. There would be either be the first African American president, or we would have the first female vice president.

Either way, every child born from today on will know that the glass ceiling for high-politics has been stubbornly removed.

Today is going to be difficult for many who voted for the other person, or the other way on a measure or ballot proposition that lost.

I remember feeling so let down in a recent election. My vote, though it counted, was wiped out by many others who felt and voted differently than I did.

When the results were announced, I was sitting in the break room at work, a minority in the way I voted. I heard not only the gleeful cheers, but also the hateful jeers of the “winners”. People I had known and respected for a long time let their joy turn into an ugly attitude that was surprising to me. I was saddened to be subjected to “I told you so”, “we’re better than you”, “face it, you lost”.

They used ugly words:

Losers.

Stupid.

Freaks.

Idiots.

I just wanted to get up and go home, but I couldn’t. I still had a shift to finish.

I suspect that many today will be subject to similar unkindness.

So, here’s today’s challenge:

If your party, candidate, ballot measure or proposition was successful in yesterday’s election –

Be kind. Be respectful. Try to remember that this awesome land of ours is great, in part, because of the vast range of opinions. If you don’t share the opinion of someone else, keep in mind that does not make them wrong. Every one of us is entitled to our own feelings and opinions.

And,

If your party, candidate, ballot measure or proposition was voted against and lost in yesterday’s election –

Be kind. Be respectful. Try to remember that this fantastic land of ours is great, in part, because of the vast range of opinions. If you don’t share the opinion of someone else, keep in mind that does not make them wrong. Every one of us is entitled to our own feelings and opinions.

Whether your vote won or lost, it’s time to work together to heal hearts and soothe feelings. Pouring salt in another’s wound while grandstanding says much more about an individual than it says about anything else. That’s an image that will stick in the memories of others.

Humility, whether winner or loser, is extremely difficult, but I think it’s necessary.

Let’s all try to be humble today, mend fences, heal hearts and wounds, and reach out to others in kindness.

Can we do it? (This challenge is one for me, just as much as it is for you)

I think we can.
It surely won’t be easy, but the more we try, the easier it will become.

Thank you for being willing to be kind today. Thank you for reading my challenge and posting it, retweeting it, stumbling it, digging it and otherwise passing it on.

You are what makes this country and this world great.

I appreciate you!
Remember, Service is the Action Form of Love!

James

5 comments:

Justin K. Reeve said...

I heard the audience during McCain's concession speech. His speech was great and heartfelt, giving his support for the new president-elect, and most importantly for the country. Yet every time he uttered the name "Obama" people loudly booed!

This completely broke the spirit of what McCain was trying to accomplish with his speech. It doesn't matter what your political preferences are. I see no reason to question that these two candidates are great honorable men. For this election/campaign season, children had GOOD role models to admire. This is such an invaluable thing, especially when so many of their role models now are the pop-star drug-addicted morally-deprived celebrities.

I wish that my own children and children everywhere could grow up to accomplish the things that both McCain and Obama have done, to inspire hope in countless others, and look to change our world for the better. Let's not lose sight of that.

Kim Woodbridge said...

I also got the impression from both speeches that McCain and Obama are willing and want to work together to solve the nation's problems. If they are willing to work together than so should the rest of us.

Tammy said...

Well put James. I really hope that people read this and take it to heart. There is NO reason to push you opinions on to others. There is nothing wrong with talking about them but then let it go. This election was very hard for a lot of people. Reguardless if it was going to be the first " African American" or first " lady".

Like James said, please be considerate of others feelings.

followthatdog said...

Well put. Both sides need to step back and then step forward, toward each other with open arms. One-sided politics in this country have never worked.

Terrie Bittner said...

This is a great article. I'm so tired of the way people are acting about the results on both sides. We're in a lot of trouble just now--we need to work together and be nicer. It's the only way we can fix the challenges ahead.