I admit that I have bias; I form an opinion about people’s views, even people I know well. I think we all do.
I was surprised to learn a Millennial in our office and a gay man from my gym voted for Donald Trump. I automatically assumed they were for Hillary. I assumed that my Hispanic friends voted for Hillary, but several did not. Most of us, along with the political pundits, made assumptions about segments of the population and those assumptions were wrong.
We all have individual experiences that form our political decisions. Before the election, many people were angry and hurt and felt abandoned by their country. Yes, our economy was in recovery, but not for everyone. Many still don’t have jobs and are suffering.
Now a new set of people are angry, scared, and hurt.
I was taken aback by the emotional pain that another friend was going through. He and his partner recently got married and were afraid of the possible repeal of same sex marriage. Another person I know told me her future father-in-law was jumped and beaten up for wearing a Trump T-shirt the day after the election. A black friend expressed fear that the incidents of racial profiling by cops will increase without repercussions.
Friends are abandoning each other because they were on different sides of this election.
I hope that at the time you are reading this, the political hysteria has calmed down. I write this within a few days of the election ended and I’m trying to find some perspective on things.
I decided to ask a few folks what their hope is for our great country going forward:
“I want everyone to have whatever opportunity they want without fear.”
“I want everyone to pause and exhale … and think about how in a peaceful way we can make America what it should be.”
“Take a break from reading and listening to all the analysis and gloating and recriminations. Listen to some of your favorite gentle music and to your heart. Know that what you are feeling is real, and what others are feeling is just as real to them, and respect that.”
“Less separatism. This election pointed out and played on all our differences. We need to remember we’re all still Americans, with more similarities than differences.”
“My hope for the country is that no matter what “side” we are on, we spend more time being empathetic. Instead of knee-jerk reactions and name calling, we pause, even for a moment, and try to understand where another person is coming from … I think as humans, we all want the same basic things: to be safe, to live in comfort, and to be heard. I hope that we as a country can erase the lines that have been drawn and dissolve the ill-will that only serves to divide us.”
God Bless America.