I cried this morning. I visited social media to catch up with friends, acquaintances and complete strangers and cried tears of sadness instead of tears of joy or tears from laughing so hard at something that struck me funny. Why, you ask? What would make me cry out of sadness and then come here and tell a story about it when I’m an upbeat and humorous person? What would inspire me to tell you an actual serious story and not one full of humor and farm life? The elections yesterday. Not only that, but the precursor to the elections and its aftermath. I know, seems awful dramatic, doesn’t it? Well, to some it may be, but I cried. Hold on tight. This may be a long one.
You see, we are privileged to live in an awesome country. I truly believe it. We live in the United States of America. Our country was founded on the blood, sweat and tears of thousands upon thousands of people. No, not all aspects of the founding were good. Not everything leading up to today has been puppy dogs and rainbows. Many suffered and continue to suffer. Others didn’t suffer in the beginning but do now. Some have never had to suffer. Whatever the case may be, we still live together, breathe the same air, and should be finding ways to work together, not tear each other apart.
It seems as social media becomes more popular, if that’s even possible, it’s also become a monster, the elephant in the room, the place where people feel safe to judge, belittle and say things they would never in a million years say to someone’s face. I get that it’s a person’s right to say what they feel. I understand that you want your voice heard. I like to be heard, too. My question though is where does it end? Where do you draw the line? Do you even have a line or is it only important that you say what you want to say without thinking first of the potential consequences, without using your judgment? I’ve read how it’s a person’s “wall” and they can say what they want, how they don’t care about another person’s views, how they are offended that someone has the gall to have a different view. Rational discussions seem to have flown out the window and into judgment land.
Yesterday’s election was what I consider to be the roughest I’ve had the privilege to participate in. From when I was a child and my parents took me with them to vote in the big voting booths that had curtains and all the levers, to the first time I had the honor of casting my vote by filling in a circle on a ballot, to yesterday’s election where our eldest son and I went together for him to vote in his first Presidential election, it was the roughest. I was never so happy as to see 7:00 p.m. arrive on the West Coast when all of the polls were officially closed.
Pre-election mud-slinging usually goes on between candidates, which is expected due to the nature of the beast they are trying to conquer. Money rules the airwaves and fuels the audience fires. There seem to be no bounds when it comes to many running for office, although I have seen some do it with grace and integrity. I wonder for many where their morals come in. What has happened to giving the facts and thereby the audience’s ability to make up their own minds? I know you want to make a story juicier. Heck, look at my stories. I want to paint a picture the way I see it in my mind. I do it, however and in my opinion, with at least an ounce of integrity and morals.
I have seen friends and acquaintances cut off all ties because of hurt feelings and views that are not the same with regard to the election. I have seen arguments and fights over opposing views. I have seen people get hurt. All of this makes me hurt physically and emotionally. It makes me cry. I understand everyone has a right to their views, but where is your personal line or do you not have one?
Not all my views are the same as my friends and neighbors. Do I judge, belittle, and disassociate with them? No. I find value in each of my friends and acquaintances. I find value in strangers. Regardless of us not seeing eye-to-eye on everything I value them in more ways than I care to list in this novel I am writing. I have found being the non-partisan in the room to be a blessing in my relationships…which doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the arguments that have ensued in my head…or that I don’t enjoy a rational discussion. Agreeing to disagree is a-okay.
This morning I knew there would be hatred on social media. Given the state of the pre-elections and on election day, I knew post-election mayhem would ensue. I just didn’t think it would be as bad as it is or affect me so much. People who have been dissatisfied with our country and left, people who are here and are saying they are going to leave, people who will stay and continue to voice their dissatisfaction instead of find even a shred of silver lining, people who do not live here and voice ugliness and hatred… When will they be ready to move on and work together, stop being afraid, angry? We can’t all get our way, but we can come together and find some assembly of balance.
In the personal opinion of this middle aged strawberry blond slowly going grey wife mother and small time farmer, we need to find unity. We should come together as a country and work together. No, not everyone I selected to hold office was chosen. That’s okay with me. I’m really okay with it. In fact, it doesn’t matter to anyone as far as I’m concerned who I did and did not vote for because I value working with what we have and within the confines we are given to make our country great in whatever way I am able. Please note, and from what I can think back on as I type this, I have not shown favoritism towards any candidate, elected or not. My vote on issues is a matter of public record, but I will not voice it to the masses. Why, you ask? Because my voice has been heard in the way it should be, by casting my ballot, by being a proud citizen of the United States of America, by instilling the importance of participation in our children. It weighed differently with each vote I cast, but it was heard. I am important…and so are you.
Folks, we are not a country that was founded with sprinkles on our ice cream sundaes and pretty ponies in all of our pastures. We are a country founded on blood, sweat, and tears. No, we will not all get along, although it sure would be nice. No, we do not all have the same views. We are diverse. We have opinions, loves, hates, and wants. We need to pick ourselves up by our proverbial bootstraps and work together to be who and what we want to be. Why? Because we are the United State of America. Smiling & Waving, Sharon