“Respond. Don’t React.”
It has been four days since the election, and most of our jaws have yet to lift off the floor in what has been the most stunning election in the history of this country. Protestors have begun gathering across a nation bleeding from its heart while dragging their disgust across the blood-soaked election floor in order to sling insults, cast blame, and reopen wounds that many thought had already healed. Others are reveling in the power of the masses for which they contributed to miraculously shaking the foundation of the most powerful country in the world. “How did this happen?” and “How did we get here?” are the questions reverberating across the globe.
Perhaps, we should focus on a different question instead.
"What needs to happen in order to heal this country and its people?"
One undeniable fact we need to acknowledge before answering any of these questions is that the people of this nation are suffering and have been for a very long time. Certainly, since the foundations of this country were laid, we have been fighting for the impossible by sacrificing our bodies, exploring our minds, and opening our hearts. Our determination for great change has, for centuries, been driven by our growing civil liberties and our patriotic poise that allows us to stand firmly on the elegant message delivered through our nation’s constitution. But, truth be told, when focus is drawn to the needs of a single group, all others are seemingly forgotten. And now, in this moment in time, an unexpected result has driven us to realize that “the forgotten” will now forever be known as “the remembered”. “The remembered”, who have waited for decades to find a single person, atypical or inexperienced as that person might be, who offers willingly to observe and listen to their collective needs, who sympathetically acknowledges their suffering, and who offers support through the promise of change.
Have the protesters in the streets ceased their shouting long enough to hear these voices as well? Have they listened and understood without blame or judgement for how this formerly-forgotten group of American citizens came to their decision for which they so heavily chant against? The voices of the protesters have been heard. And now, it is time to listen to the voices of the unheard, the voices of “the remembered”. And those left shouting, will be the first ones that everyone will forget about.
The people of this nation are suffering and have been for a very long time.
Perhaps "the remembered" are asking us all to do the following:
WE THE PEOPLE must not react. We must listen, understand, and provide support to each other through compassionate comradery.
WE THE PEOPLE must NO LONGER REACT through the deliverance of actions or words driven by hatred, disgust, or a sense of utter despair.
WE THE PEOPLE must RESPOND with effective action by first curbing our upset so we can listen openly to and fully comprehend the cause of suffering brought upon the citizens who live equally together among us. We must reach across the great divide that separates “Us” from “Them”. For if we do not, then this division will only spread further like a contagious disease we thought had once been cured but had only gone into remission. We must deliver a response that shows respect for the democratic process which defines how and why these States of America remain United.
We must reach across the great divide that separates “Us” from “Them”. For if we do not, then this division will only spread further like a contagious disease we thought had once been cured but had only gone into remission.
Regardless of whether you accept the results of this election or not, we must not give in to violent tendencies; we must not desecrate the relics of our great country of which our forefathers fought so hard to create and our ancestors fought so hard to protect; and we must not gloat for the sake of our own pleasure. For when we are defeated, we must humbly retreat, but not into the shadows. We must stand together, but not with our backs turned. We must listen to one another, but not without understanding. We must combine the “Us” with “Them”.
Have you heard about the historic event that happened during the first World War called the “Christmas Truce”? It is a beautiful story about British, French, and German soldiers declaring ceasefires and emerging from their trenches on Christmas Day in the midst of a devastating war so they could sing carols together, exchange gifts with one another, and join together in friendly and unforgotten soccer matches in the center of the battlefield before returning to their trenches to resume fighting against each other.
Today, we have an opportunity to write a different ending, or coda, to this similar tune. And this coda, when sung together, should remind us that we live together on the land of the free and the home of the brave. And when sung in harmony, we can resist changing the tune of our glorious anthem to sound as though we are living on the land of despair and the home of the suffering. So, let us choose to listen to each other's voices and understand where their power comes from so that our melodies can be joined together to bind the wounds of our nation’s bleeding heart. I for one, will be singing loudly with you, with my hand over mine.
Your fellow citizen,
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