This isn’t a post about politics.
This isn’t a post about who won the recent 2016 United States Election.
This isn’t even a commentary about how I view the results.
This is about the responses I’ve seen as everyone is processing the wave of social change that comes with a new President and the next four years term.
Today, as a Canadian, I stand back and witness the Divided States of America, and a world that is rocked completely to its core.
Many people are processing what this all means, and we are coming to terms with it in our own way, but for some, it will take time.
Naturally, as a fellow North American, the results of this election will come with repercussions felt on both sides of the border. Many people have responded to these coming changes with vastly different reactions. For some, there is relief and rejoicing. For others, there is grief, fear and mourning.
In a democracy, everyone has a voice and an opinion; and because of this, after election day, not everyone will be pleased with the outcome. This is to be expected. Disagreements and differences in opinions are welcomed, from my point of view. It is healthy to see diversity.
What I do not want to see is belittling, mockery and dismissal of another person’s very valid feelings.
It has been disappointing to watch as good humans that I respect and care for have been telling others (via the internet) to “cry me a river”, “get over it” or asking if it is a “joke” to see such an outpouring of disappointment to Trump’s victory.
And while I can completely see how this response is a joke to some, for others with different life experiences (survivors of sexual assault, the LGBTQ community, refugees, immigrants, people of colour, muslims, people with disabilities, women), Trump (and what he represents) does not make them feel safe.
(*Not saying Clinton is any better but she didn’t win so we aren’t talking about that right now).
Because of his track record of behaviour, it is understandable that many people feel their fears are realized with his promotion to the Oval Office.
We all hope this is not the case and that he didn’t actually mean the hateful things he said or did during his campaign but time will only tell.
In the meantime, it doesn’t help to mock those who are mourning or genuinely afraid for their safety.
Even if you do not personally feel threatened, it does not mean there is not someone else who does. Those feelings are legitimate and should be handled gently and graciously.
Moving forward we must work to bring comfort, “to mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15) and be diligent to ensure the safety of those around us, especially minorities or survivors of violence who may be fearful.
And pray for a peaceful transfer of power.
We need healers to arise, to bring peace and be a soothing balm upon an aching world.
We hope for a leader to spur us on to these things of goodness and kindness, but ultimately it is up to all of us to live this to fruition.
And I know that many of you are already the kind of person who stands up for others in need, so I just thought I’d send this gentle little reminder to look at things from a different perspective, to walk in another’s shoes.