Friday, November 11, 2016

Post-2016 Election: Words of Advice (...no matter who you voted for).

If you know me personally (or even if you don't), you probably know how I feel about Tuesday evening, the morning after, and the four years to come. In a nutshell: I feel deflated. This was not the reality I anticipated, and to be honest, I am still processing the results.

But that's not what I'm here to talk about. 

I'm not here to change your opinion, but I am here to [try] and change your outlook...no matter which party you affiliate with. I've seen quite a bit of exchange over the last 48+ hours, and it'd be a Pinocchio sized lie if I said it's been peaceful pleasantries and modest elation. I've certainly learned a lot about my Facebook friends (oi vey), but I've also learned a lot about myself. The last 16 months have taught me a great deal, but most importantly, they have taught me to:


Ditch opinions & adopt facts. Opinion by definition means, "a view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge." Everyone has an opinion (about everything), but it is so important to stay properly informed. That means: check your facts. It is entirely okay to read, watch and share blogs/articles/news sources that reinforce what you believe in...only after you've done your research. Double check your information on npr.org, fact.org, etc. Know how to distinguish a legitimate, unbiased news source from a tilted one. Contrary to popular belief: opinion does not equal truth, no matter how passionate you might be about a topic.

Be compassionate & stay humble. Acknowledge that someone's story might contrast from yours. We all come from different walks of life, and some of us are more privileged than others. Do not turn a blind eye simply because you're lucky enough to feel unaffected by radical discrimination. Remember that just because it isn't happening to you doesn't mean it isn't happening. Fight the urge to be boastful, to be hateful, to seek vengeance. Rise above the belittlers, and above all else, encourage kindness.

Do not revel in ignorance. Take those facts I was just telling you all about and do something with them. You don't have to talk about politics with your friends, or your family, or a random Facebook political "expert," but you should be knowledgeable. Be well rounded. Read it all. Watch CNN, then Fox, then BBC, then John Oliver, then Bill O'Reilly. If you're going to watch one, watch it all. Learn it all. Don't be flippant. Don't be lazy. Challenge yourself to be better.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world," and all that, right? All we can do in the meantime is stay informed, stay kind, stay alert, stay hopeful. Be better. Do better. Stand up for what you believe in, but also understand it...and do it peacefully.


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