I, like many others, have been watching as our country has been shaken. There are a group of people celebrating victory and moving along with their life. Then, on the other side, there are people truly grieving and working through the process of this election.
However, no matter what side you are on, your life is being influenced by the aftermath.
There has been name calling, hate speech, violence, and much more from both sides.
As I have seen photos of people vandalizing their communities, marching in the streets, and burning the flag, I found myself feeling sadness for them. Their pain is overflowing and they need to be heard. Their hurt is real and valid and there is no reason why they should not be cared for or listened to in the struggle and grief.
I find myself understanding, even more, the concept of mourning with those who mourn and weeping with those who weep. My heart is with those still trying to make sense of this election in their life.
I scrolled down a few updates and found video of people pulling an individual out of his car, kicking him in the face, and punching him while onlookers shouted, “You voted Trump! Don’t vote for Trump!” I was shocked.
Then, another photo of people spray painting a monument with, “Die Whites” “Black Power”. I found myself disheartened.
Both of these images moved me to fear. I understand how certain groups can fear their future, but this fear is different for me.
As I looked at the scenes, I glanced up and saw the faces of my 3 1/2 year old son and my 18 month old daughter, the fear rose in me for their future. They are growing up in a country where you are free, unless you go against the grain, then you will be ridiculed and shunned.
I heard of students in high schools making fun of other students for who they would have voted for, threatened due to race, and challenged because they thought differently.
This is what I am afraid of. I am afraid that my son won’t be able to express his opinion without the risk of being beat up or threatened with death because of his right to free speech and thinking.
I am afraid because my daughter is going to be in a country where she cannot be herself, although that is the cry of the culture. You can only be yourself as long as the rest of the people like it. If not, then be ready to mocked and made fun of on social media.
Both of my kids are now in a country divided with both sides claiming to be peaceful and focused on unifying the people, but each group participating in activities that are completely contradictory.
My fear is, my kids will be unable to express an opinion with people who think differently, which means they will not be able to learn how to be civil with individuals with opposite ideas.
This brought tears to my eyes.
However, my son brought me hope in a few words. He saw me upset and he asked me what was wrong. I shared, “Well, buddy, people are angry and they are not handling it well. I am sad.” He looked into my eyes with the sincerity of a 4 year old and said, “Well, maybe I can hug them because I love everybody.”
Reconciliation found in a child.
There is hope found in those words. My son will grow up to love everybody and strive to bring peace in restless situations. He will listen to the other side with respect and honor their opinions. He will also know the value of compassion and empathy for those who are hurting.
My daughter will know she can be strong. She will know that she can be who she wants to be. She will learn how to stand for what is right and to be bold with her desire for creating change.
My kids will be a part of the change in this world. They will learn how to do this through myself and their mother. They will hear our words, see our actions, and follow our lead.
My sadness and fear is relieved through the hope and reconciliation revealed in the words of my kid.
May we remember our actions are teaching our children. May we remember our words will stick in the minds of children. May we remember that we have a responsibility of teaching our kids how to live together in peace and unity. May they begin to see our examples in action today.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: Are there words you have used that you need to seek forgiveness for during this election?