Ever since the 2016 election results rolled in, I’ve been debating with myself on whether I should publish my very first post revolving around politics. I’ve decided I can’t hold back any longer.
I will readily admit, I’ve been trapped in my own liberal bubble of ignorance and for a long time and refused to open my eyes to the entire half of America that supports Trump. I’ve surrounded myself with people who support diversity, inclusiveness, and connectivity amongst humanity. I cut out everyone that doesn’t support these values so I could live in bliss in my perfect little bubble. But the time has come to face reality.
Regardless of who you voted for or if you voted, there is change happening in this country whether we like it or not. That also means opportunity lies ahead. This is our chance to step outside of our comfort zones, challenge our beliefs, and come together to support equality for all humans.
Donald Trump has potential to make positive changes for America’s working class. But if it comes at the expense of insulting and disrespecting women, veterans, people with disabilities, and other minorities, he is setting an example that validates hatred of others.
In 2014, there were nearly 7,000 victims affected by hate crimes in the United States. With a president who encourages hatred and discrimination of people who are different from us, how high will this number rise in 2017 and beyond?
We need kindness. Now more than ever.
When the election results rolled in, my emotions ranged from anger to overwhelming sadness to fear of the future – and I’m not alone. But acting out of these emotions is simply repeating the endless cycle of history. What America needs – what we all need – is kindness. Because kindness trumps hate. And we have a responsibility to do everything in our power to eliminate any hatred that arises as a result of the example that Trump has set.
This isn’t just about the United States. This is about the whole world. We are a part of a global community. The world is a beautiful place filled with beautiful people. If there is anything I’ve learned through my travels, it’s that we are much more similar than we are different.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain
Stay engaged with people from other countries, cultures, and backgrounds. People of different religions, sexual orientations, and genders. People with disabilities, and yes, even opposing beliefs.
Now, all I can do is hope for the best. I’m counting on each of you to rise above and trump hate with kindness and love. We’ve experienced enough violence to know by now that it doesn’t solve our problems. Stay curious, keep connecting with other people, and most of all, stay kind.