I have kept relatively quiet throughout this election season. I have had my opinions, as well as conversations with peers, but overall, I have tried to keep politics out of my social media. While I recognize the importance of standing up for what you believe in, I have not been interested in the hateful remarks passed between voters on social media.
I admit, the results of this election leave me concerned for the future of our country. By no means do I know if this unease would be present had another candidate won, but I am astounded by the negativity and the hate that has been shared lately. Trump supporters or Clinton supporters, these past months have been composed of fights and anger, and I am through.
I was watching the news on the elliptical the other day, (it’s my favorite way to watch the news!), and I saw an interview of a mother who was selling “Make America Kind Again” merchandise. Although minor, her campaign brought positive attention to an otherwise negative scenario.
This reminded me how we have become a country divided. We have been so blinded by hate and by nonacceptance. We have become so reliant on labels of race, sexuality, gender, and all of these social constructs, that we neglect to remember that beneath these aspects of identity, we are all humans. We are all American citizens, and we all love our country.
Quite frankly, I don’t give a damn who you voted for, because in the end it doesn’t matter. Someone has won and we still have to go on with our daily lives, whether we are satisfied or not. And if we are not satisfied, then it is time that we realize it is on us to work towards creating a more loving, accepting country. One negative person does not have to turn us all against one another. I am not saying we all have to support our new president elect, but we do have to come together to support one another.
I have come to realize that regardless of our opinions, we are all still human beings. I was speaking with someone with very opposite views than my own, and as hard as it was, I put my anger aside and listened to what she had to say. I may not have agreed with her, but she, like myself, was just trying to live her life the way that she feels is best for her. And that was so difficult for me to conclude.
You can have your own views, and you can support whomever you would like, but I still strive to see a country coming together for the greater good. We need to seize this opportunity to plant seeds of love, and not lose our compassion. We need to use our privilege for good. We need to reach within ourselves and find our humanity. We need to “make America kind again”.
Spreading kindness is easier than it sounds, but if you are struggling with ideas, here are 10 easy ways to give the world a little bit more love.
- Surprise your friends with a home-cooked meal
- Lend a listening ear to someone who needs it
- Buy coffee for a stranger
- Donate your hair
- Put change into someone’s parking meter
- Pay someone a compliment, (and challenge yourself to compliment someone you may not like… and don’t forget to mean it!)
- Call an old friend to let them know you were thinking of them
- Make blankets for the homeless
- “Adopt” a Soldier
- Give others compliments that have nothing to do with their physicality, like “I’m so glad I met you”, or “You can make me laugh even on my worst days”.
My first random act of kindness: thanking Amanda, the woman who inspired me to write this. I contacted her via her Etsy shop, and her quick response was, “Thank you so much Abby! This message made my day!!” I had no idea whether or not she would answer, and I didn’t reach out just for the response, but I got what I wanted; something small made her day.
As Jackie DeShannon sang, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love”. Let’s bring one another encouragement and light, now, when everyone is in need, and later. Because in times of fear, we may come together, but that shouldn’t stop once the light has been found.