Healing the Divide

It’s no secret that this has been one of the most divisive election cycles in history. Now that the election is over and the results are in, it’s time to start healing the divide. Unfortunately, too many people are continuing with the same divisive words and behavior that got us to where we are today.

I understand that a lot of people are unhappy, hurt, and frightened. That’s been a major theme throughout the campaign season, and it’s not going to magically disappear now that the election is over. We’ve all been there at one time or another to some degree. Those emotions aren’t the problem. They’re all valid and understandable. Besides, everyone is entitled to their own opinions and to feel however they want. The problem comes in with how those feelings and opinions are handled.

It’s easy to lash out in anger, to vow to fight, to call those who are pleased with the president-elect names. It’s easy for those who are happy with who won to gloat and belittle the real and valid emotions and fears of the other side. But what is easy isn’t always the best route. In this case, it will only make things worse.

What needs to happen now is to address the fears people have, to look toward the future and work to make it a wonderful place to be. We have to work together to make this nation the great place we all want it to be. If the divisive rhetoric continues, our nation will only divide itself further. That isn’t good for anyone, and will destroy any progress that’s been made.

The solution is respect and open communication. It is possible to be honest in a diplomatic manner, just as it is possible to listen to those you don’t agree with in a respectful manner. It’s not always easy. Sometimes, it’s the most difficult thing you will ever do. But respect and open communication are the only ways to heal the divide tearing America apart.

We all see problems with the country. We all want it to be a safe place to live and raise families. Yet we don’t all agree on what a great America looks like. Considering we’re all human, we will never be in complete agreement. It isn’t necessary for everyone to share the same opinions, but it is essential for us to be willing to compromise. As we learned when we were children (and The Rolling Stones immortalized in one of their songs), we don’t always get what we want. When you have a nation comprised of many peoples, religions, and nationalities, compromise is the only way to hold it together.

Instead of holding onto your anger or attempting to convince others to come to your way of thinking (whatever that may be), try looking for solutions. Be realistic. We can’t go back in time and elect a different government, but we can let our legislators know what issues are important to us. We can write to them and tell them how we feel about the direction of the country and what we would like to see happen. After all, the president has limited power. Congress will be in charge of making most of the changes people are worried about. The representatives and senators are the ones who represent your interests. Don’t be afraid to let them know what those interests are.

We can be one unified nation. We just have to be willing to work for it. We have to be willing to come together with people whose opinions differ from our own and work with them to achieve the change we all want. America has survived division and presidents a large portion of the population don’t like before. We can do it again if we stop attacking each other and work together.

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