I know we’ve been hearing a lot about the elections. I’m sorry to add to all that noise, but I wanted to write this post.
Tomorrow (probably today when you are reading this), we’ll decide the President of the United States for the next four years.
No matter what the outcome, I encourage us to support the leader of our country.
It might be easy to turn to jokes such as “Canada, here I come!”
I love being dramatic. I love playing around. I love Canada. But there is no reason to divide our country or to make it any harder for whomever is in office for the next four years.
I encourage all of us to take the attitude of “How can I help?” Whether the next President is the one you voted for or not, he is our commander-in-chief, and this is still our country – where we will live, work, play, love, serve, and all those great things over the next four years.
Leading up to the election, we could change things. We could phone bank, donate, volunteer, register to vote – all that good stuff. (You may very well be reading this while there are still hours to change things. If you are, please move forward with your election day plans (or make them if you don’t have any), and enjoy the end of this election season!)
Once the polls close, though, I encourage us all to get ready to throw all of our encouragement behind the newest President.
Even after an election is over, we have power to stand for what we believe in and make changes to the world around us. (As Cory Booker says, the power of the people is greater than the people in power.)
I also encourage any of us who did not get the man we wanted, not to beat ourselves up over it. It is important to learn what we think we could’ve done differently/better/more of for next time. Assess, learn, and move on.
Take solace in the work you did do, the phone calls you did make, the enthusiasm you did show. If you feel as though you didn’t do enough, or you missed voter registration, or you missed voting – pledge to do things differently next time. Make a promise to yourself. Make actionable goals. Write them down. Look at them and follow through on them in 2016.
I encourage you not to be too hard on yourself. Once it’s over, and once you’ve learned from your mistakes, there’s no use dwelling on them. If we dwelled on every thing we ever did to let ourselves and/or others down, we’d never be able to do anything else!
That’s doesn’t mean completely let yourself off the hook. Take the time to learn and grow. But as you look back, don’t forget to take pride in the work you did do, enjoy the moments of camaraderie and hope, and make goals for next time.
(I had a wonderful conversation with the loveliest, most informed, elderly man while phone-banking. No matter what the election outcome is, I can hold that memory dear.)
On the other side, I encourage those of us who get the candidate we want to be humble in our triumph. Enjoy the rewards of your hard work, but let’s not get in each other’s faces about it.
Don’t take emotions out of life, of course. Emotions are an important part of being human. I know that a lot is at stake in this election, and we should care deeply about our rights and the rights of others. If it’s not your guy, cry to your best friend, throw something in your room. If it is your guy, do a dance, cry the other kind of tears.
But let’s just try not to have Nelson Muntz moments at people who don’t agree with us. Let’s try not to be so disappointed in the choice that we seem hateful or ungrateful to live in this country.
We are not a country of Democrats and Republicans (and others). We are a country of Americans. No matter who our newest President is, I encourage us all to get excited about the next four years, and figure out things we can do to be of service to the other humans around us.