It is Day 2 with our new president-elect. Things are calming down a little bit.
There is less gloating. There is less complaining.
I think we are all tired. There is only so long you can keep passionately fighting your side of the argument before you run out of gas.
There is nothing to fight about anymore. Fighting isn’t moving us forward. It’s wearing all of us out. It’s time to put our energy into thoughts, words, and actions that will actually bring us together. Because when it comes down to it, I think that’s what we all want.
But if we are going to get there, we’ve got some shit to take care of.
And it’s not one-sided shit.
There are issues across the board on both sides of the fence.
So where do we start?
How about with these five things.
1. Stop with the name calling.
It’s no secret that I’m not a huge Trump fan. And one of the things that bothers me the most about him is the name calling. Referring to Elizabeth Warren as Pocahontas or Rosie O’Donnell or Miss Universe as a pig is not cool.
It’s not cool for anyone, and it’s especially not cool if you are the leader of the free world.
But I have been guilty of this, too. So I’m not claiming innocence in this department. I’m aware, and I’ve made changes. That’s all we can ask in this department. To condemn a person for ever calling people names would be pretty hypocritical.
But boy, would it be nice if President-elect Trump were to acknowledge this behavior and take responsibility for it. That would go a long way in my book. In all of our books.
In the meantime, I ask all my educated friends who know better to take a look at their behavior in this department.
Whether you like him or not, the president is the president.
Calling him names won’t change that. It also won’t set a better example for those of us who don’t know any better.
And it certainly isn’t teaching our children what we hope to be teaching them.
That name calling is not okay.
Even if you don’t like or agree with someone.
When name calling is meant with malicious intent, it is always considered bullying.
Don’t be a hypocrite.
2. Acknowledge people, for Christ’s sake.
The posts on Facebook about people being scared and even terrified for their friends who are not white, their friends who are black or brown or gay , etc. are all over the place.
But you know what?
Some of those people who are so concerned about the treatment of all human beings, no matter what color their skin is, will walk right by me at the grocery store or at a baseball game or the post office or wherever, and they do not even acknowledge my existence as a human being.
Don’t claim to be a champion for all people no matter what country they come from or what religion they subscribe to or whatever it is that sets them apart from being white and privileged when you cannot even make eye contact with people who are withing three feet of you.
UGH! This drives me insane.
How can we all feel unity when we don’t acknowledge each other?
And yes, I mean even strangers.
You don’t have to high-five everyone you walk by.
You don’t have to even speak.
Just a simple smile or a nod of the head is enough to acknowledge their existence. To let them know you see them. And they belong.
The next parking lot you walk through, smile/nod/make eye contact with everyone you see.
You cannot have unity when you make some sort of contact with people.
I mean, even dogs acknowledge each other. And it’s not like you have to go sniff anyone’s crotch.
3. Put the fucking phone away.
I am challenged by this one, too.
But if you are constantly checking your phone when you are walking into and out of and around places, you cannot possibly make connections with people.
If you want to be connected, you have to spend some of your time disconnected.
And we have to teach and model this to our kids, or things are only going to get worse.
4. Continuing Education is for EVERYONE.
People who go into teaching often tout themselves as being lifelong learners.
But the reality is that all of us, if we are to be productive and contributing members of society would benefit from subscribing to this same philosophy.
If there is anything you learn once you become a parent, it’s that you know way less than you thought you did, and you will never know all there is to know. Your kids will make that abundatnly clear on a daily basis.
In this day and age, technology is changing and advancing at such a rapid rate that keeping up with that is a full-time job.
But there is so much out there to learn. It’s not just technology.
We need to read more!
You know what they say… The more you read, the more you know.
The more you know, the less ignorance is out there.
The less ignorance is out there, the more we open doors for unity.
Or, as a friend’s six-year-old son told me yesterday, “My mom won’t let me watch that show anymore because it was making me less smart.”
Don’t make yourself less smart.
Make yourself more smart.
5. Check your damn facts. Pay attention.
This one may actually drive me to the nut house.
You may have seen some of those fake articles floating around Facebook like natural disaster hoaxes that are designed only to see how many people will share a story without actually clicking on ot or reading it.
There is one circulating now which is driving me insane.
It’s a map of “What the Electoral Map Would Have Looked Like if Only Millennials Had Voted.”
A woman on Twitter shared the picture of the map and it’s now been retweeted about a bazillion times. It’s like 90% Blue.
Almost every millennial in existence apparently voted for Hillary Clinton.
The only problem with this map that has been circulated a stupid amount of times is that it came from this article which was written on October 25th.
It is not from the election. It is not even from a reputable news source.
It’s from a poll taken on Survey Monkey.
I have seen numerous people, numerous educated people, share this map on Facebook along with quotes like “This gives me hope.”
I hope it didn’t give you too much hope.
Because it’s not true.
Before you share an article, check the sources.
As someone jokingly commented on a friend’s Facebook page yesterday, “Please stop sharing articles from sites that end in Z.”
And then, before you click that share button, actually read the post you are about to forward to the rest of your friends and the world!
Check your facts, and stop spreading misinformation.
Work on those other points, too.
If we can all do that, then we’ll be much closer to harmony.
No matter who our president is.