There are three major topics that I avoid on my blog: religion, politics, and intimacy. I have my own thoughts and opinions on each one, but they're my thoughts and opinions and I don't feel like they need to be shared and discussed publicly. I don't discuss politics on my blog or social media, which means you haven't seen any election posts from me. You definitely haven't seen me take a side.
After last night's election, I felt it was time to bend my own rule a little bit. I'm still not going to outright discuss politics in this post (hence, bending and not breaking). I am however going to reflect on what I saw and read during the past few days that caused me to essentially step away from the computer. Don't worry - I'll try to keep this letter short.
I would start this letter with the traditional "Hi! How are you?" but that almost seems like a silly way to start a letter when I already know that you're broken and emotional. In fact, that's why I'm even writing this letter today.
I'm frustrated and emotional about what I've seen and heard in the past few days. It has nothing to do with either candidate though and everything to do with the "everyday person." My Facebook last night was filled with hate and outrage from both sides - to the point of threats, unfriending, and heated arguments. I had to step away.
To say this election was controversial is an understatement, but let's face it - this election was quite different from previous elections. Peace, respect, and dignity went out the window for many people - candidates and followers alike. People want change, which is great. But let's remember that change doesn't come from the leader - it comes from the people (tweet this).
Mark Shields* said that "There is always strength in numbers" and I wholeheartedly believe that. We (the people, not the elected officials) are the "numbers" and it's up to us to decide what we're going to do with our strength. Are we going to continue to focus on hate and disgust or are we going to shift our focus to a more positive light of kindness and acceptance? (Tweet this.) I, for one, feel that hate and disgust in all their forms only breed more hate and disgust. Kindness is the weapon that we should be choosing in order to make great change.
I have one hope for our future and that is a mindset shift. I don't want you to bury your opinions - freedom of speech is one of our rights in this country. I do want to ask you to think about what you can do to help others on a daily basis. Is it by voicing your opinion? Maybe. Or is it by doing something out of kindness each and every day? I personally feel that actions and small gestures can be more powerful than words.
Since I told you I'd try to keep this letter short, I'm going to close it out and leave you with just one question to ask yourself: What positive thing can I do to change the world we live in?
Remember, change can still happen and it can still be positive - if we take the time to focus on the vibes we're putting out into the world (tweet this).
A Concerned American Citizen
P.S. I reserve the right to delete outright negative and hateful comments as they do not benefit the message of this post.
*Mark Shields is the first person that I found this quote attributed to. It is a very common quote though so please let me know if you know more information on the origins of the quote!*