What To Write The Week After The Inauguration
I was poking through my tired brain for some ideas for the blog this week. As is often my habit, I scrolled through Twitter and Facebook looking for something that would catch my attention and inspire me. Sadly, everywhere I looked I found politics.
For those of you who have found yourself off the grid for the last few months, Donald Trump was inaugurated as the President of the United States last week and the celebration along with the months leading up to it have sent every politically minded person in the world into a tailspin.
Liberals are protesting and bashing Trump supporters. Republicans are bashing Trump dissenters and Hillary supporters. The media are stirring the pot by only broadcasting the news as they spin it, and no one knows for certain what is and is not true any more.
I am all for political debate. Our country was built on the freedom of speech and expression. Everyone has their opinion and has the right to state it. But go on Facebook these days and the simplest cartoon or meme have people spirally into hate-spewing name-callers within seconds. It’s no longer safe to open your mouth there unless you have really thick skin and 12,000 page dissertation supporting your views.
The Women’s March that brought millions of women to their feet has spawned even greater discord and name calling. I know intelligent women who marched, and I know intelligent women who chose not to march. Both are within their rights. But I will say that the “peaceful” march that didn’t result in any arrests (at least in Washington, DC), didn’t play off as “peaceful” to my ears. There was again a lot of hate-spewing and name-calling going on. Even the liberal slogan “love trumps hate” seemed to get thrown out the window in the midst of all the swearing and hatred.
I will be the first to admit that I am not a very politically minded person. I don’t debate or share my political beliefs or leanings with everyone I meet. I certainly would never attempt to “educate” someone on why they should vote a certain way. Regardless of what side of the fence you land on with regards to politics or the hot button issues of the day, I am not seeing where the hate coming from either side can add anything at all to the conversation. All it does is make people angrier, and increase the tension between those on opposite sides of each of the issues.
So, what do you write about when the world around you has sunken into a spiral of hate? Scroll for kitten and puppy videos? Block everyone who has an opinion different from yours? Or roll up your sleeves and jump into the fray?
I choose to write about kindness. Kindness to ourselves and those who are like us, and kindness to those who are the complete opposite of us and everyone in between. That is truly the only thing that has a chance to heal our nation and our world.
Start small if you must. Start by forgiving your friend or family member who didn’t vote for your favorite candidate. Go to lunch, share a cookie, hug. Whatever it takes.
Stop posting incendiary memes or cartoons or tirades that will only anger everyone or make them feel uncomfortable. Not everything is a platform for a political debate. Sometimes it is just a place to go to look at cat videos and lighten your mood during a rough day.
If you come across a post such as I just mentioned, do yourself and everyone around you a favor, and just move on. I have yet to meet anyone whose opinion was influenced by a ranting response to something they shared on social media. No amount of argument is going to change this moment we all find ourselves in. People will vote how they vote and that is their right.
Kindness, people. Please.
Now where are the kitten videos? 🙂