Over the past couple of days, the wisest among us have taken a breath.
We’ve walked in the woods, made the bed, paid the bills, sat and stared at the wall for a bit.
If, like me, you live in the States, you are either mourning or celebrating, despairing or uncertainly trying to find your footing. It all depends on where you sit on the spectrum of belief and entitlement.
I have already tired of the back and forth. The liberal drama, the hand to forehead, dramatically fainting to the floor with declarations of the world going to hell in a handbasket. Will we really allow that to happen? No.
But so also have I tired of conservative Facebook friends who posted every nasty bit about Hillary—regardless of its veracity—during the campaign and now want to admonish us all to “unite” and “be good losers.” You mewled and complained the entire campaign, folks. Give the other side its chance.
This fiscal conservative / social liberal has had enough of both sides.
I want to quietly shove Trump’s 100-day plan in front of my conservative, Bible-banging friends and say, “Did you actually read this before you voted? Does your God agree with violating treaties with Native Americans, destroying greenspace and prejudice against someone because of a difference of belief?”
But, I will not. I have never seen a political argument change anyone’s mind. Never. Not in almost five decades on this planet. We should all save our spit.
What changes minds is human experience. My mother—a woman who considered herself not to be prejudiced—had issues with one of her daughters dating someone of color. And then, as life would have it, she had great grandchildren who were biracial. Guess what? I saw her change.
My white suburban friends did not even see their own stereotypes around Hispanics until I married one. The busboy / landscaper jokes stopped when they had a Latin man at their dinner table—one who was not an “illegal” Mexican, sported an MBA, hailed from a family of doctors and other professionals, and knew more about classical composers than everyone else at the table combined. The taco jokes stopped and I saw their beliefs change.
I have seen sexist Neanderthals at work change their tune when their daughters reach working age and have professional goals. Likewise, I have seen less than sensitive teens change their tune when their mother has another baby—and that baby has special needs.
Life will get to each of us at some point. In its own good time. It breaks down any wall that can be built, whether on a nation’s border or in our hearts.
I will continue to love my friends. Right now, it is hard to love some of the ones I see as seriously misguided. But I will. Because walls never solved anything.
It is only by rubbing shoulders–by being confronted with the different, the uncomfortable, the less than familiar—that we change. Love really does change all things.
I just wish it would stop taking its own damn sweet time. Let’s get there already.