Zislis column: Maintain perspective despite brewing storm
With less than 90 days to President-elect Trump’s inauguration, it is clear we are a nation deeply divided. While Bernie revolutionaries continue to mourn the loss of hard-won gains, Hillary die-hards grapple with the sobering shock of defeat. While millions reluctantly cast a vote in protest to the opposition, many now celebrate the unexpected Trump victory. With the world desperately trying to make sense of a political landscape in turmoil, countless American families are angry, hurting and troubled by an uncertain future.
Many would argue that the incendiary doctrines of Trump’s campaign are in stark contrast with the fundamental principles of our democracy. With decades of hard-fought battles to preserve civil liberties, fragile ecosystems and the human rights of those living within our borders — so much is at stake; so much can be undone with a stroke of a pen.
This tension is palpable. Mudslinging has left much of our citizenry caught in the middle of some of the most wildly inflammatory rhetoric in history. With divisive arguments that cut to the very core of who we are and what we believe, much of this country is divided along uncompromising lines. We are torn between politely maintaining long-standing relationships, against snubbing friends and neighbors on the basis of so-called morally objectionable ideals.
My hope is that individuals will maintain perspective despite the brewing storm. With so much hanging in the balance, let us preserve some measure of dignity, respect and purpose — for no matter the outcome, we are all in this together.
I do not presume to hold the answers to life’s complexities. I write this simply to encourage all of us to summon the compassionate being in ourselves — to reject violence and its ugliness, as we embark on a Trump presidency.
Each of us has the responsibility to help shape our collective destiny as contributing members of our local communities — as conscientious volunteers, organized activists, informed voters and devoted parents. As we have seen throughout this nation’s history, each of us has the ability to shift insurmountable thinking in order to improve the common good. But we must do so with unyielding humility, peaceful purpose and nonviolent intention.
As we move closer to the next new beginning, we must remember how we come together in times of crisis and catastrophe; how all that matters in the end is the security and comfort of our loved ones. As human beings, we have been gifted the capacity to reason. Let us not forget the prudence and practicality of graciousness and civility. After all is said and done, truly the only thing that matters is the safety and well being of our children.
As we continue to grapple with infuriating legislation and the vast imperfections of our tested republic, let us not forget that the tangible strength of our great nation lies in the cooperative relationships among friends and neighbors.
With the sole purpose of finding common ground, I urge you to go out and engage with others. In spite of our differences, collectively, let us build on the values and ideals we share. Let us support opportunities that promote understanding. Let us practice diplomacy that enables conflict resolution without violence. Let us insist on a civil discourse that will ultimately usher in better days.
Today I speak directly to your conscience. I do not propose that we roll over or surrender our positions on the important issues of the day. I do not imply that the ideological differences between us are not worthy of earnest deliberation and purposeful resolve. Nor do I suggest that this election should not provide political transparency and vigorous debate.
On the contrary, we are at a crossroads. But we must remember to serve our families and our communities with distinction and integrity — with humanity, humility, tolerance, and compromise. We are not a nation of one or another — we are all in this together, uniquely worthy of mutual respect, compassion, opportunity and safety.
Evan Zislis is a professional organizer, social entrepreneur, and bestselling author of “ClutterFree Revolution: Simplify Your Stuff, Organize Your Life & Save the World.” His column ordinarily appears on Tuesday’s Body & More pages. Contact him at Evan@MyIntentionalSolutions.com.
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