Thoughts from November 9, 2016

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It’s not what you think. I’m not going to tell you my political opinions or even my thoughts about the election results. I don’t like to get involved in political debates. However, in one of my classes today, my professor gave us the time to talk openly about our thoughts and feelings following the presidential election results that came out early this morning. He encouraged us to share our thoughts and be honest, but also to be respectful and decent to the rest of the students in the room, and to remember that everyone does not have the same opinions.

He closed the discussion by offering each student the opportunity to share a piece of advice moving forward. After hearing other students talk, I shared that we should be respectful and mindful of others. Everyone is equally entitled to their personal views, but there is no need to be hateful to another person because of who they voted for or what they think. A little kindness goes a long way.

All political stances aside, my classmates had some pretty awesome things to say about how we can maturely approach talking about the election. Here’s a couple of the things students shared:

  1. Take a deep breath. Relax. Heat-of-the-moment anger isn’t going to help you further your argument or statement. Think about what you have to say, and try to say it calmly.
  2. A president won’t change the country over night, and while a single person does hold the office, he alone does not have the power to instantly pass new policies or reverse old ones. Separated, balanced government is there for a reason.
  3. As told by President Obama in this video, “no matter what happens, the sun will rise in the morning and America will still be the greatest nation on earth”. Elections have always been crazy, but they are not the end of the world.
  4. Silence can speak volumes. My professor wanted us to think about what it means when someone is not speaking in a group. If someone is not speaking in a discussion, it’s not because they don’t have an opinion. It’s much more likely that either just want to listen and take in what’s being said, or they feel that their ideas are being opposed by the group, and therefore feel alone in their opinion and don’t want to share what’s on their mind.
  5. Be an informed voter. Even though the voting season is over for this election, it’s still vital to do your own research and check your facts, instead of letting your mind be filled with what is prominent on social media and in news headlines.
  6. Be respectful to each other. It’s important to remember that we are all people. Words are powerful, so don’t let yours be the reason someone is afraid to speak.
  7. Just be nice. This is a tough time for everyone, and this election might have been the craziest one ever. Just remember to be kind to each other when you speak.
  8. Everyone was raised differently, and someone’s upbringing might have had a huge effect on their decision in this election. That doesn’t make them wrong.
  9. A vote for a candidate does not mean that someone supports the entirety of the person and every single thing they have said or every single thing they stand for. A vote means that after weighing a massive amount of information, a decision was made and one candidate was found to be better (if only slightly), for one reason or another.
  10. One student’s advice was for us to simply read William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech. It has some major ideas that are relevant during this time.
  11. Regardless of race, gender, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, we are all Americans, and we still live in the best country in the whole world.

I am proud to be a Christian and I am proud to have voted in this election.

I pray that God keeps watching over us as He’s always has and always will.

I pray that keep works in the hearts of our leaders, past, present, and future.

I pray that He can bring peace to everyone that needs it this season, and I pray that we can reflect His light in our kindness to others, especially in this time of transition for our country.

Only He knows how all of this will work out, and He already knows. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: He’s got this.

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