I’m one to typically shy away from political discussions. Not because I’m ashamed of my choices or that I don’t believe in healthy debate but because, particularly with this election, the basis of these discussions have been rooted in stubbornness and disrespect. But here I am with an unquenchable need to say something. Anything.
I love election day. The buzz and excitement in the air. Everyone united on the edge of change. Supporting one another in our right to share our individual voices. Educating our youth about the power of a vote and, for some, highlighting that this right is still so new to many of us.
I went to bed last night disheartened and woke up to the news that I expected to hear after watching the results trickle in. America, my country and my community, voted Trump into office.
As a woman, I will tell you that I’m scared. As an avid supporter of equal rights, I will tell you that I’m nervous.
But this is where my heart truly breaks. I’m now witnessing people who were so quick to point the finger at President-elect Trump, calling him out on his hate-filled words, are now the ones slinging mud at his supporters and this country. And the conceited name-calling from the other side? It has to stop.
This is absolutely a time to fight for our rights as equals. But to fight we have to listen. Really, truly listen. A large group of people chose President-elect Trump because they believe in, one way or another, his message. They believe in his change. But the other side also believes in something great.
So how can we throw in the towel so early? How can we toss around words of hatred? When right now our country – our President-elect – needs the guidance of people who care, who love and who trust in each other and in this democracy.
It is time to stay rooted and grounded in our beliefs, but it is also time to hear each other and dig deep into the "why" behind our decisions. Without a doubt, our country is changing. The power of the people is changing. Through mindful actions and thoughtful discussions, we can rise up and create a world of respect, acceptance and love. But we have to do it together.