It doesn't matter who you voted for in this past election. No one really won. This was the nastiest election in my memory, and in more ways than just the usual sludge.
I didn't write about the election up until now because I needed some time to process my thoughts about the whole affair. I love my country, but have been very frustrated with what I've been seeing lately. Some days I feel like we have been dropped into an alternate reality - and it certainly is not a better one.
What has happened to our world?
There's so much more hate and senseless violence circling around. Respect for others and our surroundings seems to have vanished. Everyone is trying to be heard, but no one is listening.
Our country is at a different place than we've ever been before. Nobody knows what to expect. It doesn't matter if you're happy with the election outcome or angry - the future is most definitely uncertain. And with uncertainty comes fear. For some, the thought of our imminent future is downright terrifying. I've heard a lot of people saying that there is nothing we can do. The system is rigged and it doesn't matter how vocal we, the people, are. Nothing is going to change.
I'm not a political expert so I can't say with any certainty if that's true or not, but what I can say is that there are still some things in our control. And as small as they may seem, yes, they can make a difference. We can control how we act, how we treat others, how we listen, how we set an example for our children, how we support (or not) the causes closest to our hearts. Life is scary enough. We don't need to live in a world of angry isolation on top of it.
It's time to band together.
I think regardless of your political beliefs, there is one thing we can all agree on - we all want to see America become a better place. We all want our country to be truly great, for everyone. So here is what I propose. To see a change, you need to be the change. And if we all strive towards taking these steps every day, then we will see America become great again - regardless of what the baboons in Washington are doing.
- First and foremost and always - Be Kind. You don't have to agree with everyone around you. You don't even have to like them. But still be kind. Everyone has struggles in their lives. You never know what a person may be going through and what makes them act or think the way they do. Life is hard enough, and like it or not, we are all in this together. Let's not make it even more difficult. Refrain from name-calling. Hold the door for a stranger. Smile. You don't have to go out of your way (unless you want to), but make a moment in someone's day a little easier. Or, at the very least, show kindness by not making it harder!
- Have respect. Everyone has their own opinions. And let's be honest. No matter how much you might throw something in someone's face, most of the time, their opinions are not going to change. You can believe whatever you want. So can others. Respect other people's right to have their own opinion even if it's not the same as yours. And even more importantly, respect other people's rights in general. We are all human. We are all in this thing called life together. Learn to coexist. Live and let live.
- Knowledge is power. Research and learn about things. You can't make the world, your community, or even your house a better place without first learning the things you don't know. And with the new agency blackouts, it will be even harder to get accurate information. Dig. Find answers. Learn both sides. Think for yourself. Have accurate knowledge before moving forward with anything.
- Keep an open mind. This does not mean you need to agree with others. This only means that you acknowledge there are other viewpoints and methods. You don't have to agree - Just listen.
- Get off your phone and look around. The world does not exist behind a screen. It's what is outside your window that really counts. Take a good look around. What is really happening? Don't rely on the increasing fake, and/or sensationalized news headlines. Don't just take what someone else is feeding to you. Get out there and live it for yourself! Make your own opinions based on what you see in front of you. Be a part of humanity, not a part of the internet.
- Change the Facebook newsfeed. Facebook used to be about cute pictures of our kids or vacations. My newsfeed used to be filled with things that made me smile. Now, most of my feed is filled with one disgraceful "headline" after the next and people fighting over who is right or wrong, or predictions of the doom that is heading our way. You know what? No one knows what's coming. All we have is today, so let's take that gift and enjoy it. Post things to make people smile. Leave the crap for dinner table conversation if you must. The government and media now has this incredible power because we gave it to them. Stop clicking on it. Stop sharing it. Stop letting it "trend." Why continue to spread the stress? Let's let happiness trend again for a change!
- Be the good. Strive to do something "good" every day. Pick up trash on the road. Help someone that needs an extra hand. Plant a tree. Surprise your significant other with dinner on a hard day. Visit someone who is lonely. Create a piece of art. Give out compliments. Buy from a small, local business. Give a friend a hug. Pay for a stranger's coffee. Make people smile. Spread happiness.
The election is over and now it's time to live our lives in this new age - together. This is OUR country, so let's make it the way we want it. We don't have to rely solely on our government to dictate the happiness level in our lives. If we want America to be great again, then we need to do it together - as one, unified.
We need to push our differences aside and show that we are still the strongest nation in the world. "United we stand. Divided we fall." There is no right or wrong side here anymore. We are all American. So let's stand together in an act of love and truly make America great again.
Just a thought.
#BeTheLove #BeTheGood #America
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