I sit here on the eve of this election day and feel a mixture of fear and hope for our country. I wish I could say that the fear is for one candidate winning over another. That would be a bit more simple. But what I truly fear is what happens next, no matter who wins. I fear our country will merely become more divided. That the hate will continue to grow and spread. It's like a wild fire. It's out of control. What can destroy our country and our world isn't necessarily one president over the other, but it's the hardening of our hearts and our pride.
We forget that each of us have deeply personal reasons why we have formed our opinions, why we trust this news outlet over that news outlet, why we believe this "scandal" isn't true...but that one is, why we connect to this candidate over that one, why we choose to overlook this for that...and on and on. We are each so different. Not one of us could fully understand another. Ever.
I see a post from a friend that indirectly says that I am less faithful, less Christian, less American, less intelligent, less moral, less informed, less down to Earth, less loving, less...less...less. That because of their opinion, somehow they are morally superior, better informed, less gullible, not blind to the lies, and just right...where I am wrong. I feel hurt, I feel anger, I feel my heart harden a little. In my family we call this "sad mad". But then, just when I start to become outraged, I hear and see those who agree with me, say and do the same exact things. The same words I hear used to describe this group are the same exact words I hear used to describe that group. So many of us are walking around convinced that we are right and yelling from internet roof tops that we are, that we forget to look into the eyes of our opposer with an open heart searching for understanding.
Could it be that we are all just a little "sad mad"? You know what heals "sad mad"? It's not judgement. It's not hurtful posts on Facebook. It's not unnecessary comments about how someones support for a candidate "makes you nauseous". It's not the latest meme. It's not writing off a friend for good because they support this candidate or that. It's also not ignoring the important issues in our world or being silent. It's love. It's open eyes and open hearts. It's seeing the person next to you, in front of you. It's remembering that the people you love are still the same people today as they were yesterday. The reasons you loved them are still there. That maybe they're a little "sad mad" too. They're a little...or a lot...scared too. That in the end, we all ultimately want the same things. We just have very very different views on how to get there. And remember that because of our special make up and our special set of experiences, we handle "sad mad" and fear differently.
I cannot see how, when two groups of people are convinced that they are 100% right and are saying the same exact things about the other, that either is completely right or wrong. As hard as it is for me to see how, the truth has to be somewhere in the middle. Each of us has to be a little right and a little wrong. We have to humble ourselves to believe in each other and take away our pride of believing we must be right and they must be wrong. You know one of the great things about this, it is much more likely for someone to truly hear the information you are sharing when it's presented in a kind, calm, loving, manner. I just told my five year old tonight that he never gets what he wants when he yells or throws a fit. Good rule of thumb don't ya think?
Please, for the love of God and this beautiful country we live in, be respectful to one another and remember that you do not know all. The same God you pray to and are lead by, is the same God I pray to and am lead by. You cannot fully understand someone. You are not 100% right. Present information, engage in loving honest conversations with people you love, but please don't post anything that's unkind or unnecessary. Each of us contributes to the world around us. How will you contribute to your piece of the world today? And remember...open hearts.
Peace, love, and grace,