Since the election an epiphany as occurred whether you're home or abroad. We the people have voted and we're completely split in-half. I've read your comments, you who lives in a rural town in the heartland and are sick of being mocked because of your accent. I've read your disbelief, you that lives on the West or East Coast and knows not one person who voted differently than you. I've felt your fear those of you who are from a different cultural background or faith than me. I've read your comments, listened to you and felt your anxiety. You're absolutely right we've got problems. Yet two words will not leave me: Strength and Compassion.
For now is the time we will turn those words into deeds. We have the strength to stand against bigotry, racism, misogyny and intellectual "safe spaces". We have the strength to accept the result of the election and not damage a stranger's property. We have the strength to recognize a protest in the voting booth before the election is far more effective than one in the streets after its conclusion.
We the people have the compassion to accept a great many people are angry and frustrated. Now is the time to listen to someone who has a different accent than you, even if you don't agree with their political views. Now is the time to listen to someone who looks different than you, who is from a different place than you. Now is the time to acknowledge the media doesn't have all the answers.
Now is the time we smile instead of glare.
We the people have acknowledged we don't agree on a lot right now. Yet, there is no better time to begin working our problems, our challenges. We will turn our thoughts to deeds and properly channel our emotions. We will do this in the real world instead of the online bubbles we've created for ourselves. It won't happen overnight but it will require us to do a little everyday. No one climbs a mountain in a single leap instead it happens step by step.
Now is the time we listen instead of yell.
We will use our strength to defend against racism, misogyny, bigotry and intellectual "safe places". We will use our compassion to listen to those we don't agree with, who do not look similar to us. We will do this not because it is easy but because it is hard. We're Americans and we never back down from a challenge.
Our challenge is to acknowledge there is tremendous work to be done. Most importantly, it begins with us. It begins with how we treat our neighbors, our friends, our family. It begins with those that are strangers. We will take the time to trust a stranger for that is how friends are made.
We will meet these challenges head on.
We will start today.