The world continues to revolve. The sun still rises in the east and sets in the west. The sky remains suspended above us and the firm earth remains under foot. In spite of the drama of the previous week, we continue to live our lives because that is what we must do. The alternative is far, less inviting.
Any election will result in half of the populace pleased while the other half is left disappointed. Last week’s presidential election was no different. We had all been subjected to the campaigning for the past 19 months. Blessedly, it has come to an end, the campaigning that is. Now, the real work of re-bridging a divided and cautious nation begins.
What is our role in this major reconstruction project? My dear friends, we all have a role and a responsibility in the task of taking away the negativity and visceral bitterness and replacing them with optimism, hope and cooperation. What has been torn down must be made erect again. What has been painted as unacceptable must be touched with the colors of acceptance; a virtual rainbow of acceptance of all people as equal, nothing more and nothing less will do and securing the rights of all people and letting be the laws that secure marriage rights for all people. Rather than hope for failure of the newly elected, let us work toward success. Because what is at stake is far more important than the current hurt feelings, anger and disappointment.
Quite frankly, Wednesday, Nov. 9 was a dark day for me and many of us. It’s not as if we haven’t had setbacks in the past. This particular event, this most memorable of elections seemed to hurt just a bit more intensely. Than, like the sunbeam that made its way from under and above the curtains, I remembered how elated I was when, then Senator Barack Obama won the presidency back in 2008 and how half the nation rejoiced while the other half were left to ponder what went wrong. I remembered how I felt. The happiness, while so wonderful gave way to the mundane nature of ‘day to day’ life. I suspect president-elect Obama felt euphoric and triumphant at the time. Yet, once the reality of life and the mountain-high duties and inevitable obstacles were realized, I suspect that happiness was sobered with cold and harsh reality.
This is what I suspect president-elect Trump is going to encounter. High as a kite right now, he will, in due time, come to better understand and appreciate the magnitude of his responsibilities and obligations. He, too will face obstacles, more so than anticipated I suspect. The happiness of half the nation will wane while the bitterness and disappointment of the other half will pass. This is our time to join forces: the blue and the red, the formerly disappointed and euphoric, liberals and conservatives, gay and straight, young and old, city and suburban, the soccer moms and the construction workers, Latino, Muslim, Christian, Jew, atheist and agnostic..this is the time for us to come together and do what must be done. Let’s not spend time building a wall, figuratively or literally. Rather, let us invest in our greatest and most precious of assets…US. We are a resilient lot, are we not? We shall overcome because that is what we do. While it will take time, pride and disappointment must be checked at the door, sleeves will be rolled up and to work we shall go.
I’m feeling better, thank you. That Wednesday morning after I made my way to the E.G.V. Jewel and picked up two car loads of donated items, (hey, how much can I possibly load into my little Prius?) I took to some repair jobs at the church. There were several projects that needed attention. So, I paid said attention, repaired, cleaned things up and felt useful, successful and accomplished! That’s the point, my beloved family of St. Nicholas. We must be engaged in actions that benefit others. And if we feel good about the work we do, so be it. Some of us have made the cognitive and deliberate choice to become members of the ACLU.
Wonderful move. Others will dedicate time to charitable causes, volunteering to help house the homeless, feed the hungry, clothe the naked and lift up those who have been laid low. Beautiful. Let’s make sure we talk to our children, our students and to one another. Let us not be silent with our reservations and fears as well as our hopes, our willingness to remain strong and our determination to “hold our newly elected feet to the fire” to ensure equality for all. May I also suggest we make a point in being present at the worship, attending our weekend Liturgy and taking an active role in the life of our church, our St. Nicholas? There’s room for us all and there’s plenty of work to be done. As we rebuild the morale of our nation we can also and just as importantly go about fortifying and giving the attention our church so deserves.
Congratulations, Mr. Trump and Gov. Pence. May you lead us well, fairly, without prejudice nor favoritism to others. Our country needs healing and the world awaits to see just how you and the nation conducts ourselves.