There have been many "watershed" moments in American history over the years. Moments where it seems as if the fate of the country, or even the entire planet, hangs in the balance. Times when it feels like the world has come to a fork in the road and either path taken will change everything forever. The choice is up to us to pick either the "good" path or the "bad" path. Deciding to break away from England and become our own nation, choosing to divide our nation in two and take up arms against one another to resolve the conflict, Pearl Harbor, the Civil Rights movement, 9/11. These were all moments where the world we know now would be vastly different depending on how these ended. This election is also one of those moments. History will judge us based on the outcome of this election. And how can it not? Our future will be shaped by it, after all.
We can all feel this. We can sense it. The heaviness in the air that seeps into our skin and permeates our brains and souls. It makes it difficult to concentrate on anything else, and it becomes nearly or actually, an obsession. It takes over everything. It has taken over our minds. Things we would never do under normal circumstances, feel normal to us now. Treating people in ways we would never dream of before, is now par for the course. I think we need to be reminded that civility, good manners, and being kind to each other has always been our choice and always will be. Regardless of who becomes our next president, nobody can take that away
from us. The only one who takes that way from us, is ourselves. No presidential candidate made us do it. They might have started down that road, but we fully and willingly followed behind without questioning it.
We have said to ourselves, Well, it was the other side who started it, so I might as well dive right in and fight fire with fire. It isn't just "them,"(whatever side 'them' is to you) who have become so rude. It is all of us. You, me, everybody. We have all become the deplorables. Some of the rudest words I have seen in this election have come from people inside one party, towards others within their own party. We aren't just disagreeing with another party, we are disagreeing with one another, and we are being vicious and cruel. Feelings have been hurt. Friendships have been damaged or ended. Family members have turned away from each other all because we disagree on the best way to move forward as a nation.
How many of us has wished somebody ill will during this election? Either a candidate, somebody online, or somebody in our own lives? How many of us have called somebody stupid or otherwise questioned people's intelligence? How many of us have questioned somebody's loyalty to this country? How many of us have had these things said about or questioned of us? It doesn't feel very good, does it? We've all created a lot of negative energy, not only in our own lives, but in the country, and the world. We owe it to ourselves and each other, to do better. To be better. To create positive change and energy for our world. The question is, can we do that without screaming at each other and tearing each other down?
For those of us who consider ourselves followers of Christ, we are supposed to follow his example. It isn't "politically correct" or weak to be kind to one another, it is literally "What Jesus Would Do." The concept of "grace" is one of the things that makes Jesus unique. We are forgiven, through God's grace, though none of us truly deserves it. It is a gift given freely to us anyway. Are any of us truly acting grace-filled during this election? Are we extending that grace to others? What are we becoming?
I can assure you, that regardless of who wins the election tomorrow, the sun will continue to rise and set, as it always has. Our money will still be in the bank. Our beds will be just as cozy and warm as they are tonight. For the most part, our days and nights will continue on as they always have, with very little interruptions. But soon, that fog we've found ourselves in, will dissipate. We will find ourselves having to look ourselves in the mirror and looking at each other. Can we live with the words we said or the actions we took? Can we mend family bonds and friendships that have been damaged? Only time will tell. But the choice is ours. It has always been ours.
I will end this with two of my favorite quotes. I have used them before, but I won't stop using them, because they sum everything up so perfectly:
"Turns out, real life is a little bit more complicated than a slogan on a
bumper sticker. Real life is messy. We all have limitations. We all
make mistakes. Which means―hey, glass half full!―we all have a lot in
common. And the more we try to understand one another, the more
exceptional each of us will be. But we have to try...Try to make the world a better place. Look inside
yourself and recognize that change starts with you. It starts with me.
It starts with all of us."-Judy Hopps, Zootopia
"Have courage, and be kind."-Cinderella