Saturday, November 12, 2016

And so it begins…

Jacob and his overnight guests cleaning up after some girls teepee-ed the house. It’s a n innocent, if annoying, prank that kids have been doing for years. Jordan and the boys intended to retaliate last night but all fell asleep, and we all slept with lights ablaze all night.

Some not so innocent pranks are going on. I hear rumors of Trump followers attacking minorities, and Trump opponents protesting, though peacefully as far as I know. Facebook has poignant posts from people who have been unfriended by longtime friends and are hurt, angry, puzzled. All over politics. At this time, when the nation needs to come together in unity, the division is getting more sharp.

I had my own minor experience. A friend I’d known and shared confidences with,  encouraged her publication hopes, cheered for her over the last few years, sent me an email saying her opinion was good enough to elect a president, and I needed to stop thinking that my opinion was the only one that matters. Their sanctimonious attitude defeated the Democrats, and I needed to get off my high horse. I was stunned, and naïve as I am, thought she’d been hacked. Not so. Politics, she said, has nothing to do with friendship.

I’m not so sure about that, not sure I separate the threads of my friendships so easily. And I am saddened that someone has that opinion of me. Beyond that, there were several ways I could have responded, the most obvious being to retort with comments about Trump and rudeness and compassion.

I didn’t. Because I believe that message is exactly the kind of thinking we need to eradicate, the pitting of one side against the other. I wrote instead that I was stunned, sorry, apologetic. It was my step into my new world of love, forgiveness and unity. I truly believe in these troubled, contentious times the only hope for America is for us all to come together as Americans—not Trump followers, not Trump protestors, not black, white, gay, straight, Muslim, whatever—just Americans. And work together to build unity in our country.

Begin with that safety pin that says you welcome and will protect people of whatever persuasion. But don’t attack those who differ with you, and don’t bemoan the incoming president’s election. It is what it is—now what can you do to make it better?

I almost didn’t post this story. My friend will read it and she will be angry and I’m sorry. But I truly believe the larger message is more important.

Let us put differences aside and remember that we are all Americans, with a glorious heritage and, if we will work for it, a bright future.

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