Saturday, November 12, 2016
What a week it has been! Some folks are emotional wrecks. Others vow to move on stoically and calmly, relying on every ounce of hope they can muster as they face the next four years of citizenry in this country.
In the past few days, we've seen a wide range of reactions to the surprising election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. These responses haven't all been as pretty as the picture above of Schweitzer this week, which shows the gradual transition from fall into winter in North Idaho.
Over the next several weeks, we'll be dealing with a major transition much more complex that the annual acceptance that winter will come, wardrobes will change with Crocs and Tevos heading for the closet so boots can take their place. Turtlenecks will appear, as will the winter coats, gloves and knitted hats.
Just like the election results, folks in this area generally view the coming of winter in different ways----some with dread, others---namely winter sports enthusiasts---with excitement.
There are seldom any gray areas in our opinions about winter except that sometimes it's gray for too damn long.
Same is true with elections, especially the one just completed. I haven't seen a lot of gray in the aftermath.
It's definitely been an historic event to spend time processing, especially as we analyze just how much the results are going to affect us personally.
I know my emotions have ranged from total shock to dismay to resistant acceptance. Iz there such a thing as resistant acceptance? I just know that for a time, I resisted the reality that The Donald REALLY is going to be our President but knew that my only choice was to accept it.
Anyone who has read my blog posts in the past knows that I have not been a Donald Trump fan. I've experienced his kind in the work place and in other situations over my lifetime; those memories are not positive.
In my resistant acceptance of this man, who demonstrated publicly and proudly over the past 18 months virtually every negative behavior pattern one can imagine, I fervantly hope that he's not really as bad as perceived from his angry, mean-spirited rhetoric.
I also hope and will expect that he actually will accomplish a few of the incredible feats he has so boldly promised---those that will truly benefit the American electorate rather than to divide it any further.
Hard to imagine, but again, we have no other choice than to hope for the best.
That's kinda how it is with winter here in North Idaho. Some of us are not thrilled about it, but we try to find ways to weather the storms and enrich our lives with activities that diminish the misery that comes along with it.
ZAGMANIA does that for a lot of us. Thank you, ZAGS! What a game!
In the few days of my personal processing since the election, I have taken away one recurring theme: we need to maintain our friendships and our respect for others.
We have the tool of social media that brings out the best and the worst in people, especially with elections where passions run deep.
We need to step back from taking full advantage of the ease in which we can express our opinions without looking someone directly in the face. Would we say those same vile, preachy, often hurtful things to others eye to eye that we state with such bravado on Facebook or Twitter?
As a English and journalism teacher, I always did my best to impress upon young writers the element of "considering their audience" in written and spoken expression. For example, the audience range for my blog includes friends, strangers and people from all over the world.
Therefore, I have to provide enough explanation in my writing that everyone in that range would fully understand what I have on my mind. More importantly, I have to consider that audience and the respect that I wish to convey to each reader with the words, phrases and sentences that I use.
Occasionally, over the years, people have taken me to task for things I've said and how I've expressed them. It's a challenge to send out a message that will resonate with every reader every day. Still, I make that effort.
Same is true with Facebook. It's often tempting to say exactly what's on my mind, but with age and experience, I'm acquiring the discipline to rein myself in. Of course, that's not necessarily so in the safety of my own home and with my friends. And, I'm sure that's pretty true with just about everyone.
Different audiences demand different approaches. We ARE human, and we do have opinions that the rest of the world may not appreciate. Wise to keep some of those to ourselves rather than throwing them out as headlines for all to read.
For a nation and a world to get along---maybe just a little better---if all of us would take just a moment or two before pounding off every single thought ruminating in our minds and toned those thoughts down just a bit, in respect to "our" audience, the world could be a better place.
I hope our new President will do the same.