Despite the gloom and the horror of watching an electoral map bleed red, the sun still rose on a brand new day this morning. A new day that brings with it the same limitless possibilities, opportunity, hope of something different, hope for something better as yesterday did and the day before — as long as we do not let becoming attached to the fear of what all this could mean, have its way.
Our neighbours to the south have a new President elect. The people have spoken. The tides have turned. The future is unwritten.
There are those who are pleased with the outcome. There are those who are fearful. And still, in the midst of jubilation and fear, the belief and disbelief, the utter certainty and complete confusion of ‘how could this be?’, all is present that was present yesterday. And as is written in 1 Corinthians 13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
No matter the times, the heartache or fear, Love is always present.
It is in these times of uncertainty, confusion and fear that we must learn new ways to ride the wave and find our balance in the confusion and chaos. It is in these times that we must invite to our table those whose opinions and voices are different than ours to find ways of being together on this common ground of our humanity that do not include hate and misogny, bullying and fear. We cannot give into violence, to name-calling and bullying in the belief we will make them more like us. There is no Us and Them in our humanity. There is only US. We are all on this one planet together. All in this one human race, no matter how hard some may fight to create a supremacy of whiteness, we all bleed red, we all breathe the same air.
Yes, this election happened south of the 49th parallel.
It feels like it happened here. On Canadian soil. It feels like the last 18 months of campaigning happened here, in my living room, in my home, on my laptop and mobile devices because I became part of the Us against Them mentality. I became part of the ‘you are so wrong to think how you think, to believe what you believe’ culture.
Do I like what I have read about the man who has been elected the 45th President of the United States? No.
Do I like what I believe he stands for? No.
Regardless of my opinions of him, his tactics, his publicized transgressions, he is like me a human being.
He is like me part of the same human race.
Yes, he has power. Yes, he will become the head of a great nation — and make no mistake, it is not a nation he will make great again. It is a nation that is already great. A nation that for me, standing here north of the 49th parallel represents the best, and sometimes the worst, of what we humans can create and do and achieve, because what America represents to me is possibility, promise and hope.
As I sit this morning reading social media feeds, I am reminded once again of how fragile our hold on the truth that binds us all — we are one world. One humanity.
Sending people back to the countries they came from, banning people from entering or building walls cannot change that.
And all the misogyny in the world cannot drown out the voices of women and men standing together, fearlessly speaking their truth even when there are those who do not want to listen.
We cannot change the past. We can only be in the present by letting go of our fear of what tomorrow will bring. It is not what one man will do in the days and weeks and months to come that will make a difference in our world. It is how each of us responds. It is how each of us will learn to embrace our shared humanity today and accept, times are always changing. Let’s not let our beliefs and values change with them.
For an amazing read on one man’s journey from white supremacy to tolerance and Love, read this article.