Thursday, November 10, 2016

30 days of thankfulness. Day 9 and Day 10.

Lessons in gratitude.

Taught tough, learned with pain and effort.

That is life.

We long for escape. Like the crew and passengers of the SS Minnow, we imagine at times what life would be like on a deserted island, away from the travails and conflicts that assail our every waking moment. 

Especially over the past twenty-four hours or so here in the United States of America. I posted the following on Facebook yesterday:
A few things - and I hope I say this the way I think it, and it is taken in the spirit intended.

First, now many Democrats know how devastated many Republicans felt in 2008 and 2012.

Second, just because the election didn't go your way doesn't mean that the process didn't work. It just means that your (wo)man lost.

Third, I personally feel this was an election where people did not so much vote 'for' a candidate as 'against' a candidate.

Fourth, we as a nation *must* pull together and remember that this is the system we have in place. There is redress through change - get involved and search out a vehicle by which you can help bring about the changes and fixes you long for. I am specifically talking of the Electoral College and Term Limits.

Fifth, if your relationships on social media are so shallow as to be vulnerable because of a vote, or a perceived opinion, perhaps you need a shorter friends list.

Thank you.

Later, I posted this:
My heart especially aches for my beloved LGBT friends. As well as my many 'othered' friends who do not have the 'right' skin color or accent or religion or country of origin. I often say we can be and do better as a nation - I still believe that, but more than ever it has to start in each heart, in each mind, in each house and workplace and on each social media platform. 

I did not have the heart, or the energy, to write my day 9 of thankfulness last evening. I had been awake from 3am on 11/08 until about 8pm on 11/09 with maybe 2 1/2 hours of sleep. I was past tired. So I fell asleep at eight, and got up at my usual 3am even though I am not working today. 

I am thankful that I have the right and privilege to vote as a citizen of this country. I am thankful I had the means physically and intellectually to do so. I am thankful and humbled for the heart and commitment and respect of my friends and family throughout this process of choosing leaders and enacting laws. There was more on my ballot than the choices for president/vice president. Our congressional district had 3 candidates vying for the "Fighting Ninth" here in Virginia, and there were 2 state constitutional issues up for vote here as well. Elsewhere in the county in which I live there were municipal elections, and proposed changes to the restrictions on the sale of alcohol on Sunday. I have a co-worker who was running for a seat on the town council in Glade Spring. Nationally, there were senate elections and several gubernatorial elections. There was a marvelous kaleidoscope of ballot issues across our country, reflective of the diversity and complexity of who we are as a nation. 

All many of us will hear, though, is Trump/Pence and Clinton/Kaine. I am not thankful for that. I am not thankful for the vitriol and bitterness and stubborn divisiveness that just will not go away.

I am thankful for you - reading this wherever you are - that you are taking the time to read this and hopefully take to heart my closing visual offering. May we ever remember that we are all stewards of this wonderful planet, and one another.

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