Q: So, O’ Wise One, what was THAT all about?
A: Um, could you be a bit more specific? There’s a lot going on in the world.
Q: The thing that’s on all our minds. The U.S. election outcome.
A: Ah, that. Yes, a lot of people have questions about it.
Q: That’s putting it mildly.
A: What would you like to know?
Q: I’d like to know all kinds of things. Like are we as a country going to be okay? How do we deal with the rift, the hatred, the divisiveness? Why don’t we listen to each other anymore? Is it too late to try being civil?
A: Hold on, my dear! Sheesh. One question at a time. I’m only human. Uh, well, you know what I mean.
Q: Ha. I’ll let that one go. So, first question. Is America going to be okay?
A: Yes, yes, of course. America’s experiment in democracy stretches it sideways sometimes. But it’s nothing that hasn’t happened before. It was founded by sideways-stretching people. And it has seen many come and go since then. The names and specific situations change, but the sideways part, that’s a constant. Sometimes more intensely felt than other times.
Ya know, humanity itself doesn’t change much over time. It’s more the specific external factors that change and bring out either the best or worst in individuals. And group think? Sometimes it brings out the good. Sometimes not so much.
Those big sideways stretches often cause dominoes of change to happen that need to happen. It’s always painful at the time, like childbirth, but it produces good fruit in the end.
Q: This country needs a lot of big things, big thinking, and big and small people to change, that’s for sure. But pain sucks. Isn’t there a better way?
A: That would be nice. But where’s the challenge and learning in that? It’s the job of humans to learn how to get along with each other.
Q: Apparently, we have a ways to go on that.
A: I’m glad that much is obvious.
Q: So where do we even start? The worst is showing in so many of our leaders, and in the rest of us, too. It’s one of the big reasons why so many people wanted big change. Real change.
There’s so much corruption, self-centeredness, hypocrisy and ridiculousness in so many of our leaders, in politics, big business, big banking, big media, and most
any other organizations that profit by power.
A: Tell me about it.
Q: Nothing new, huh?
A: Nope. Been that way since the beginning.
Q: How do you put up with us?
A: Ohh, no one’s perfect. You’ve all got your faults, flaws and foibles, to be sure. But you’ve also each got your really good traits. Those things that make me go “awwwh.”
It’s when you get over yourselves and start thinking of others before you think of yourselves that your hearts really shine. So bright. It’s blinding sometimes. Those are the moments. The moments that make me step back with an overwhelming love. A love that knows no bounds.
Q: That’s great. But there’s little that seems loveable at this time in our history.
A: All seasons of life go through cycles and pendulum swings. America is at one of those times right now. Those who are driven by power – and there’s plenty in both political parties, just so you know, and many individuals, too – who want things to stay as they’ve always known them to be. Power begets power. It’s tripped people up from the beginning. And it always will.
Those who have been at their mercy now for years and decades, whether through the ever-growing machinery of politics, business, finance, media or other institutions involving money or messaging, are fed up. And rightfully so.
Enough people have not been listened to for long enough by those in power that they’re now revolting. This election was basically that: America’s version of the French Revolution. Really, it could’ve been so much worse.
A: You sound cavalier about the whole thing.
Q: You have to remember, I knew the outcome of this election before you were born. I’ve seen it all. And I know that there are still enough good people, and enough good in those who may not always appear good, that things will be okay. Maybe not right away. And maybe not to your liking. But it will be ok in the end. You will survive. America will survive.
This season is a unique chance for all those in power and involved in the machinery of institutions to step back and re-evaluate their role in the present situation. It’s also a chance for each non-powerful person to step back and decide how they will choose to respond.
How each individual in each group decides to engage with and listen to those who are not like them will determine their own growth and their own destiny. It will be a marker of their heart and will show what they’ve learned so far in their time here. Everyone moves along the continuum at their own pace.
Q: But shouldn’t those who have suppressed others or treated them badly be held responsible?
A: They will be. All in good time. All you are responsible for right now is you. Your choice of thinking, your choice of behaving, and your choice of how to treat others, whether you like them or not.
Being responsible just for you is a pretty big job in and of itself. Full-time, really.
It’s a lot to take in, I know.
A: It’s okay. You’re okay. America’s okay. Take care of it, and each other. Including those you don’t like. Especially them.
Q: That’s asking a lot.
A: Yeah, but you don’t have to be perfect at it. Just do your best. When you stumble, get back up and try it again. You get points for trying. Might even be able to redeem them soon at your favorite coffee place.
Q: Ha. You know about that, too.
A: Of course. Some of the best heart conversations, and plans to make the world a better place, happen at coffee shops.
Speaking of, why don’t you go invite a friend or family member to coffee – and choose someone who looks different from you or voted differently than you did. Go change the world.
Q: You make it sound so easy.
A: It’s easier than you think. Just be brave and do it. You’ve equipped for this. Use your ears and your heart. All the rest will fall into place.
Q: Over coffee.
A: Yep, over coffee. I’ve done my best work there sometimes. Great place to eavesdrop, too. You hear all kinds of things.
Q: Yea, I guess. But I’m not ready. I might never be. I just can’t do it.
A: I understand.
Q: You do?
A: Yea. There’s a lot of hurt in a lot of people right now, in all demographics, including politically. You’re not alone. So many emotions are right at the surface, and will be for a long time.
People are questioning so much in the country’s culture, and rightfully so, for a lot of reasons. Hearts and souls are concerned, confused, frustrated, shocked, disappointed, sad, angry and depressed.
Everyone needs time to process and adjust. It won’t happen overnight. But it will happen. Some people will get to an okay place before others. Maybe even surprisingly quickly. For some, it will take longer. It’s all okay.
A lot of questions have been raised that go to the core. It’s good soul-searching time, as difficult as it is.
For those who sit with it for a while and look for answers, a sort of peace will eventually come. Be encouraged. The emotions that overwhelm right now will not always be with you. You’ll be okay.
Q: I feel less awful. Thank you.
A: My pleasure.
Q: I know I can’t do what you asked yet – meet with someone who disagrees with me politically. Maybe in the future. I dunno. It’s gonna be hard.
A: It’s okay. You’ll be okay.
And you know what? This is why I love you. You do the hard thing when it’s the right thing.
You’ll know when you’re ready. And when you are, go change the world with a cup of coffee.
And tip your barista this time, wouldja?
About Kris Harty: Kris Harty is founder and CEO of shortCHICK, llc, She brings perspective and wisdom to the table, and helps smart people like you move from overwhelm and obstacles, to over it and moving on, in life and work, Step by Step. She's a speaker, author, podcaster, and creative, giving voice to hope, joy, encouragement, and wisdom.
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