Like many of you, I didn’t sleep last night.
And like many of you, I felt like staying in bed this morning. Too tired to face the reality of a Trump presidency. I could list all the reasons I voted for Hilary, or I could angrily spit out the reasons I did not vote for Trump. But what good would that do?
I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t feel a sense of despair. I was surprised at how angry I felt. How scared. How powerless. And then those feelings were followed by an awareness that my race and economic class so often protect me from feeling this way.
And then I got a text from my friend Pam. Pam is lovely. She is good and kind, and patient and forgiving. She has a quiet way of making the world better. She is one of those people that is always working behind the scenes. Pam is hope.
Pam says: “I’m remembering the Martin Luther King quote: ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.’ I have to believe that love does trump hate in the long run. I think we’re living through a period of backlash. Progress is never linear. Politics, in particular, goes through cycles…”
Progress is never linear.
Pam is brilliant, and right.
Pam’s text made me breathe again. And the very act of breathing made me feel hopeful.
Do we have work to do? Yes. Are all the people who voted for Trump hateful, racists? No. I know some really good people who voted for Trump. People who feed the homeless, and do important work in their communities. Do we have work to do? Yes? Is it hopeless? No.
My students read an article today about the election results. I gave them time to respond to the news in writing, and then asked them to write words that made them feel hopeful on my board. They each came up and contributed. I’m not sure if they felt better, but I sure did. Words have a way of working into our souls, they smooth our edges like ocean waves on sharp glass.
My favorite blogger, Glennon Doyle Melton, posted this quote today:
“They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” — Mexican Proverb
If you feel buried, be the seed. Be the love. Be the change. Be the light.
And breathe. Think of all the wonderful people you know. All the acts of kindness and grace that helped you get to where you are. Find ways to reach out to those who feel like their voice isn’t heard, and listen to the ones that do. If you feel buried, be the seed. Let those words settle into your soul. Let love smooth away the sharp edges like ocean waves on sharp glass. It takes time. But we are in this for the long game.