“Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change”- Buddhist Proverb
I spent the Wednesday after the election talking my youngest off the ledge while she spent that Tuesday night comforting a long time friend who had decided to “come out” at Thanksgiving. He wondered, given the election results, if this was the right time to share this news with some of his Trump supporting family members. She told him what I told her, everything is going to be okay, just keep moving forward.
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”- Seneca
For some, including myself, there is a real sense that much of the progress we have made over the last eight to ten years will be undone or at lest stalled. And in most cases this progress has been baby steps, not the giant leaps we should be taking. The feeling, at least for a few, is that we are headed towards a sort of ice age, a step back in time to black and white television sitcoms like The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet or Leave it to Beaver. But as I remind my children, that isn’t possible. Pandora’s technology box was opened when their Grandparents joined Facebook and like a gun, they will give up their smartphones when you can pry it from their cold dead hands.
“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.”- Yogi Berra
I also think with this election there is the potential of engaging a new generation of leaders and activist. They will need to figure out how to use that anger and hurt that they feel today in a productive way. They will need to organize, and establish goals, create a blueprint of what their America will look like in the future. The question is, will the kids who are protesting the election results stay engaged or bury their noses back in their cell phones thirty days from now once the dust has settled.
“To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can have.”- Theodore H. White
Here is what I know and I wonder if 20 to 39 year olds know it, this face:
won’t be around forever. His demographic isn’t growing. But if you check the stats, the 20 to 39 year demographic is. And here is the exciting part, that demographic group, the 20 to 39 year olds, is much more diverse than Senator Mitch McConnell’s predominantly white 75 to 79 year-old age group. The window will be open soon, very soon, for new leaders to step in and fill the old guards shoes. They need to be preparing themselves now for what will happen, not what might happen because the Mitch McConnell’s of the world can’t and won’t live forever.
“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” – Fred Rogers (Mister Rogers)
Yes, my system is still in shock but maybe that is a good thing, maybe it is a good thing for everyone. Maybe the younger generation will take more interest in the world around them rather than just the world they hold in the palm of their hands. Maybe we will have more confidence about speaking out on wrongs that they see rather than simply ignoring them. Maybe new leaders will emerge, those whose platform includes compassion and care not only for our citizens but for our planet as well. Maybe, just maybe.
“The World is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning.”-Ivy Baker Priest