Now the Real Work Begins…

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” (Victor Frankl)

Attribution: Donna Cameron[Note: when I drafted this message, I anticipated and envisioned a very different end to our election. I will admit that I am devastated. But, with some edits, my basic message for today’s post stays the same. And perhaps the underlying message of kindness is even more important. Wishing you peace wherever you can find it, my friends….]

It’s over. At. Long. Last. The election that brought us to new heights of incivility, mistrust, and disregard for the truth has come to an end. Or has it?

A lot of people are really happy today and a lot of people are not. Today we face a choice almost as important as the one that was made at the polls: how are we going to respond in the face of winning or losing?

It’s difficult after a hard-fought campaign to let go of the partisanship and rancor that accompanied the crusade. Those on the winning side may feel inclined to gloat, smirk, or dance a jig to celebrate their victory (and maybe rub it in to those on the opposing side).

Do it in private. Thumb your nose or do your happy dance in the privacy of your home, your office, your room, or even your bathroom if that is the only private place you can find. Be aware that people on the other side of this election are hurting. Even if you can’t understand their position, surely you can understand their pain. Don’t make it worse.

Those on the losing side may feel anger, resentment, fear, and bewilderment. They may be feeling crushed by disappointment and a powerful urge to lash out. Don’t. Pause and pause again. Trust that the concerns you have which motivated you to vote as you did can be addressed fairly in our democracy. Trust that something good can emerge. Trust that you are strong and your voice will be heard.

I would remind both sides that our children are watching closely, and learning lifelong lessons from what they see. Let’s show them how to win with grace and lose with grace. Because throughout their lives they will experience both victory and defeat.

Whether you are happy today or unhappy, whether you feel hope or hopeless, look for ways to channel your energy and (re)direct it to something positive, something that will serve your best self and the values America holds dear. As stated in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Let’s start there.

Our Democracy is not indestructible. It is precious. Heed the words of Abraham Lincoln in Gettysburg on November 19, 1863, and act to assure that our “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Whether your candidate won or lost, behave with grace and compassion. Vow to be instrumental in healing America. Start today.

“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.” (L.R. Knost)

14 thoughts on “Now the Real Work Begins…

  1. Donna – I didn’t want to get out of bed today. The prospect of a President-elect Donald Trump was more than I was ready to cope with. After scanning the headlines and some of the early analysis, I was grateful to find your post in my in-box. Thank you for these inspirational words – I will carry them with me as I go about my world today and into the uncertain future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gretchen, thanks for your message. I found it difficult to get out of bed this morning, too. I was hoping I had just had a bad dream. No such luck. There seems to be a lot of community forming and coming together in the wake of the election. I am hopeful we can turn this nightmare into something that is ultimately positive for our country and the world. I am so looking forward to seeing you soon!


  2. Thank you, Donna!
    I’m keeping an archive of all the inspired and aspired words coming out today. It is truly moving–that will what moves me today.
    So much pain surrounds us. Now is the time to really call on our best, deepest practices of empathy, kindness, non-judgment, and restraint.
    Peace and hugs to you, and see you back here again soon, ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Cathy, for this message. Yes, this painful outcome calls on us to be our best selves and redouble our efforts to change the world. And there are plenty of positive elements emerging today—this supportive blogging community being such a welcome one.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been searching the net, and especially other blogs, for words that can make me feel better on this very sad day. I will probably mope around for awhile, then dust myself off and move on. A Trump presidency doesn’t define me or my country, and it certainly can’t take a way my innate optimism about life in general. Healing begins with us listening – really listening – to each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes! Kindness matters. It is, in fact, one of the higher aspirations of a noble approach. “Pause and pause again.” Thank you for sharing these kind thoughts. Peace…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi, Greg, thanks so much for reading and for your wise words. It’s nice to hear from you. It’s been many years since our paths crossed at AMCI. Hope all is well in your world.


  6. Donna, Although I’ll be kind, I’m not ready to give up just yet. I’ve just signed a petition to the Electoral College to ask that they do the right thing and cast their votes for the woman who won the election by a million popular votes. Here’s hoping! Clare

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.