Last night, I sat on my couch and turned on a live stream of the US election reporting. The volume was off, but red and blue light flickered in my periphery. I’d glance over every few minutes to absorb the updates, and as the results rolled in, my anxiety began to bubble up. All I could do was furiously type out my thoughts and feelings in silence, like a therapy.
I wrote and I wrote, and finally at 1am, I took a melatonin and forced myself to crawl into bed. I felt anxious, fearful, and depressed, but I knew that I couldn’t let the negative feelings percolate forever. I resolved that tomorrow, I’d wake and I’d bring a little positivity into the world. It took about an hour to fall asleep, and then nightmares danced around in my mind until morning.
While there is still a raw rumble of anxiety in the pit of my stomach, I am working on forming a feeling of hope in my heart.
Politics may influence our lives greatly, but they are still our lives to live. We may not be able to improve the state of our country from the top down right now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have hope for small progress.
We can teach empathy and awareness. We can respect each other more. We can respect ourselves more. We can be grateful for human compassion, and for the beauty of nature, art, and life.
We can stay positive. We can help one another. We can bring a little more good into the world.
Although yesterday brought many of us feelings of worry or despair, I was uplifted by one thing. Despite the fact that election day divides our country in half, it still brings us together. We may not share the same opinions, but we all share and value the right to express them, and that is worth celebrating. Yesterday, we united together around one thing we have in common: our right to vote.
That right does not go away today — in fact, that right extends beyond our political systems: it’s an inherent human right. We all have the right to express a daily vote of positivity, in our shared system of humanity.
So, today, I vote for kindness.
While we may not have another presidential election for 4 years, we will have 1460 sunrises. 1460 opportunities to cast our daily vote for respect, love, and progress. No one can take away our sunrise. No one can take away our ability to greet the day with gratitude and hope.