The epilogue to a difficult election
I used to claim that I am a resident of the nation’s high five (Michigan), but lately I feel like my state let the country down. Despite the disappointment, the painful election results have led me to fall in love with my wife and our nation all over again.
Let me explain: We wept as the results came in on election night and retreated to our own ways of coping. I sulked and my wife Beata went on a shopping spree. She warned me Thursday morning that she had indulged in some “binge shopping” to deal with her frustration, which was not like her. A couple days later, I got home from my job as a high school social studies teacher to find boxes of books for our young children (8 and 4) about multiculturalism, world religions and kindness. One book was titled, “If I were President” with a young girl featured on the cover. This was the shopping binge?
Over the course of the next week, more books arrived and the conversations at our dinner table turned to messages of hope and helping others. A child alone on the playground? Invite him to play in your game. A clash of ideas in school? Listen and try to understand, without fighting to be right. If someone is struggling, offer to help.
My wife decided in her despair that if the world needed to be made better, we should start with our own family and branch out. While I remained in a fog, Beata took action. With grace, she inspired me to step up in my classroom and to hang on to hope that with a renewed purpose, we could overcome the terrible setback of a Trump victory.
These books and our conversations at home took a profound turn when our son asked us, “Why did people make a bully the president?” and “Can he (Trump) start now so the four years will get done faster?” When our son asked, “Will Trump’s wall keep us from meeting our cousins who live in Iran?” it hit me just how closely he had been paying attention to the hateful tone of Trump’s campaign.
A couple of the books Beata ordered so we could grow love
in our family. I renewed my energy after Election Day by
looking in the mirror and putting action to my aspirations. Now,
more than ever, is the time to remain mindful and intentional.
|Celebrating Election Day as a|
family. We went to dinner and
talked about voting afterward.
My lifeline of support growing up. That's me - the youngest child to the right
in my mom's lap. My family lives their values and do not preach about them.
They help others, work hard and motivate me to strive to be a better person.
I was reminded by level-headed friends who voted for Trump that fear can be a strong force to overcome and love needs people willing to fight vigorously for the cause. Beata has compelled me to share the story of love, devotion and hard work that has been her family's experience in hopes others will embrace the diverse America we love so deeply.