We, as a country, have just experienced one of the most divisive elections in our history. Emotions on both sides rang high. Finger pointing ruled. This election exposed us to the fact that we are a nation in turmoil, one where everyone appeared to be far right or far left, no one admitting fault within their own playing field.
We have become of nation of “generalities” of “extremism”. When we see a particular behavior by a person (and usually a bad behavior), we presume that everyone associated with the person exhibiting that behavior must be exactly like him/her. The assumption that “all Republicans” or “all Democrats” think one way or another has worn away at the very core of our society. It has weakened our view of our government and pushed the divide so deep and so wide it will take a movement of epic proportions to find the middle ground we know exists.
This division resulted in one phenomenon. It showed us that EVERY vote counts. The counts in several states was so close, within just thousands of each other. The number of votes this year broke all records as we all were deeply rooted in seeing our candidate win. Our older generation has described this vote as one of the most important ones they have every been involved in.
Aside from the rhetoric of our current president, that the president-elect “stole” the election and that he has vowed to file extensive legal challenges, the proof is not there. When election results are so close, it automatically will trigger recounts and second looks to be sure that everything was done correctly to be best of the ability of each state. Will there be issues? Perhaps minor ones. Each state upholds the standards for elections. Each person working is expected to perform in a consistent manner to ensure proper results.
The PEOPLE have voted.
Where do we go from here? What will happen next?
It will be up to each and every one of us to make a difference. Small ways or big ways. It does not matter.
First and foremost, I believe that we each need to go back to our American roots. To the words that were written in 1892 and adopted by Congress in 1942. There have been several iterations over it’s lifetime. The one below was the version used between 1924 and 1954, before “Under God” was added. While I believe that “Under God” is important, this one gives one that we can all use no matter what our higher being is.
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”
I pledge: I promise
allegiance: loyalty or commitment of a subordinate to a superior or of an individual to a group or a cause
to the Flag of the United States of America: to the flag that symbolically represents a nation of 50 states represented by a field of stars
and to the Republic for which it stands: a government having a chief of state that is not a monarch, in modern times is usually a president; a political unit (nation) having such a form of government
One nation: One nation, one country compromised of many states which come together as one
Indivisible: Unable to be divided or separated
With liberty: Freedom, independence, being free of oppressive restrictions
And justice: Fairness, fair-minded, justness; a concern for justice, peace and GENUINE respect for people
For all: Everyone. Black, brown, white, yellow, Muslim, Jew, Christian, male, female, non-gender, heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, young, old, Democrat, Republican… just to name a few.
Take a moment RIGHT NOW to reflect on OUR Pledge of Allegiance. Whether you agree or not with the party voted into office or the person elected to office, it is your duty to pledge allegiance that you will be the best person you can be going forward. Your actions or reactions are wholly your own.
Take a moment and BREATHE. Whether or not you agree with the choice of the people, the end of the world is not here. Go about your day and be the best person you can be. Be kind to your neighbors. Love your family. The great thing about having a democracy is that we get to continually vote for the person we think will be best, whether president, congress, senate, etc. Every two to four years we can take the opportunity to voice or opinion by voting. Whether or not your candidate wins, you have to step back and believe in the process.
What a great country we live in! We can and should be able to voice our opinions without fear of retribution. I believe it should be done in a non-threatening manner, myself. You know the saying that it’s easier to catch flies with honey rather than vinegar. Translates to “it’s easier to persuade others with polite requests and a positive attitude rather than with rudeness and negativity”.
My best advice is to wake up each day and be thankful that we live in a Nation that allows us to have Liberties and Freedoms, that we should treat others with justice and kindness and be the best versions of ourselves. We have a choice every day with how we want to conduct ourselves. So, wake up, put your shoes on the right feet, and show the world that it doesn’t matter who is at the “top” – it matters that we do the right thing by living true to our faith, true to ourselves. Be THAT person.