On this first day of Transition, please remember a few things. The sun comes up. The wind still blows. Our world spins and revolves and we ride with it.
While to many it feels as if everything has changed for the worse, and to others for the better, change in America has always come slow. This is the beauty of our Constitution. The Framers constructed the document in such a way that wild swings of emotional discord would not tear the country apart in a day. The march toward the Civil War began the moment the Constitution was ratified and took seven long decades of fermentation before exploding. We will not explode tomorrow unless we allow it.
To those struggling to understand why people chose to vote for the candidate with whom you disagree, my suggestion is to look at it from their perspective. If you’ve only ever chosen to believe the smear pieces rooted in false propaganda and perpetuated on social media, then you are the root of our divisiveness. People who outright supported either candidate without any qualms are few. This nation will only move forward if we are able to see the ‘why’ of someone’s vote. Then, together, we can find a middle ground on which to rebuild the crumbling facade of our Republic’s social construct.
To those wondering how someone who looks like they do can fit into this kind of America, I say this: be strong, stand proud. Move the nation with your words and with your peaceful actions. There are those who would argue with this sentiment, and all I have to say to them is that violence begets violence. That cycle never ends. There is power in looking your antagonizer in the face and knowing your presence in numbers and in faith and in courage are enough to overcome him. Jesus knew this as he was scourged. Ghandi knew this as he was beaten and jailed. Congressman John Lewis knew this as he was nearly killed in Selma. Stand strong enough and like minded individuals will join and stand with you. Be the example that stands against everything they falsely believe about you.
To those still yearning for change, it begins at the local level. Do not be passive and expect others to do the work for you, otherwise you will long be disappointed. Reach out within your community: volunteer, connect, and teach others your beliefs through your actions. Read and discover the mechanism for change. Find your voice. Use it to positively motivate others. Change is good, but do not resort to the biting rhetoric of our current political climate to achieve it. Do not lose the heart of your movement, for even if you succeed, the body will soon wither and die.
Our nation will survive the turmoil of the 2016 election. Since our founding, we always have. There have been dark times, but we always climb from the muck stronger, more inclusive, and renewed in our faith in this American Experiment.
Do not give up. Be refreshed and reinvigorated. We are now a nation in Transition. What transition will you make in order to serve the better Good?