the most wonderful time of the year

It’s been quite a bit since I’ve put fingers to keyboard and it’s probably for the best. Over a month ago my fellow Americans elected a new President, a man who I fundamentally opposed. I was sad to learn that so many people in this country are so disenchanted with their current lives and their future prospects that they were willing to put their own inner kindness and compassion toward others aside in support of something (hopefully) new, something (hopefully) better. A month ago I was blinded by the confusion, frustration and anger I felt toward so many who made that choice. So I asked around a little to friends and family members I care for to (hopefully) understand. Turns out it’s pretty easy to vote your conscience when everything else in your life is pretty much awesome – when your healthcare is affordable, when fighting for your country isn’t your best option at an opportunity or an education, when you aren’t living paycheck to paycheck, when your hourly job isn’t at risk of moving overseas or to an illegal immigrant, when you don’t live in a neighborhood where not having a gun isn’t even an option.

Now, that all being said, there are a lot of Trump voters out there who are just as bigoted and ignorant as Trump often presents and Tweets himself to be. A lot. And to them I say, fuck you. But even more importantly, to those of you on the other side who refuse to stand by idly and watch as our civil and social liberties grow more and more at risk, I support you. There are many like me, who, for the sake of their sanity and their children, aren’t going to fight as strongly as their hearts feel, but I know there are those of you who are out actually fighting every day for equal rights and opportunities for all of humankind – not just for white, straight, male, Christian, American citizens. And to you I say, thank you for doing the work that I am just too selfish and scared to do myself. I offer you my encouragement and my money. Keep fighting the good fight.

Perhaps, as some have suggested, we needed our liberal bubble to burst. The sheer awe of what has happened with this election cycle should require every last one of us to do some real soul-searching and ask ourselves if we are really as open-minded as we thought we were. Are we willing to turn toward our Trump-supporting neighbors (and oh yes, they are in fact on every fucking block) and try to see through the lens of their lives for a moment? Is there a better time than now? It is, after all, the most wonderful time of the year – the most wonderful time for a kind word, for a $20 drop into the red Salvation Army collection bucket, for donating a few hours at the local homeless shelter, for welcoming family into your home, for creating new traditions with your lovers and children, for putting up a real Christmas tree (or two), for saying a prayer for the Syrian refugees, and certainly for remembering that we are all human. One election does not change that simple fact, nor does it change the fact that every day every one of us has a choice to help or to hurt another. Regardless of how you voted (or didn’t), that is really the only choice that matters.

Happy holidays, with love.

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