When I woke up yesterday morning, November 6th, we had a president. When I woke up this morning, November 7th, we had a president. Frankly, the only excitement that I had to share (aside from the video of a still-employed Big Bird dancing that I found on YouTube) was that the deluge of political activity in the media stopped.
But I saw something very different. In the same way that we gloat or sulk after winning or losing a board game as children, or as adults in our more heated sports rivalries, the discourse had shifted to vocal expressions of both excitement and disappointment. I understand wanting to voice those feelings, but I’m not okay with them being an attack on anyone. As an example, I read an article about a mall collapse in Ghana earlier today. First commenter’s contribution to the thread? “If only Obama had been in there.” Really?!?!
I wish I had saved the Tweet I read this morning urging adults to be careful how they behaved today, for children learn a lot about expressing themselves after a win or loss from watching us. What can children learn from you in these moments?
I posted an image yesterday courtesy of George Takei yesterday that I’m sharing here again for its truthful nature. I don’t have a problem with people disagreeing. I wrote a post last year about stepping outside the echo chamber, something I firmly believe in as a mechanism for learning something new as well as for reaffirming what you believe. And that is no less true in this instance. If you disagree with anything I say, engage me in discussion about it. I’m happy to listen, offer my opinions, and debate…respectfully. The very moment that it becomes a personal attack, or loses its air of respect, I will refuse to engage.
People are different. And we live in a country where that’s okay, even (at times) encouraged. Is it nice to have people agree with you? Yes. But I’m of the belief that there is value in having people around who challenge you. But same, different, it should all be respectful. And for all today, no matter your take on the election result, please be respectful in your expressions.