Why I Cried Myself To Sleep Last Night
Before you attack me for being an overdramatic, privileged white girl, hear me out. Yes I am about to talk politics, and no I am not an educated politician, but I am enthusiastic about people and yesterday so many people felt a loss of faith and hopelessness in each other. Personally, I was hurt and confused and full of fear for what the future might look like for a millennial and the generations to follow. I cried and tried to discuss my fears with my parents, which in some ways only made it worse, as their perspectives - although not wrong - were different to mine. So I cried myself to sleep, begging God that He would show me a way to use this pain as fuel and fire to make a change, even if it's just a small one. In the past couple weeks, I've been challenging myself to wake up at 4:30am which worked out perfectly yesterday because I was able to watch the last two hours of America's season finale on Sky News. The news that Donald Trump had won unfortunately didn't surprise me. After experiencing the outcome of Brexit here in the UK, I was expecting America to follow suit - although my optimistic self had hoped and prayed for glass ceilings to break and for history to be made with with Clinton as the First woman president, becuase after all - Trump "incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims". What did surprise me from Tuesday morning's outcome was Trump's incredible ability to stick to a script and act "presidential" at the flick of a switch.
Yesterday I went through so many emotions, expressed my fears on snapchat, as well as shared a bunch of hilarious memes on Facebook, because comic relief is real. While I was on Facebook I witnessed a few horrendous acts of "free speech" mostly by non-americans who didn't even vote. The rest of the world has a very big opinion about American politics which in some respect is acceptable because we cannot avoid the fact that America is powerful and Trump's power will impact far beyond his new wall and the rest of the country's borders. Having an opinion, is a great thing, fighting for what you believe in is brilliant and should be encouraged, HOWEVER, being rude and harmful towards another person's opinion is simply unacceptable. The nature of politics is often conflict, and the world we are living in today is full of it. Seeing people react and respond in unacceptable ways is what saddened me the most. Scrolling through newsfeeds yesterday where everyone was a politician actually gave me some hope becuase the discussions, the good ones, meant that people cared. What absolutely broke my heart was witnessing people that didn't care at all. There is so much to write on this topic and considering I am not a politician I am going to step out of the political chat and rather focus on something I would be willing to place the value of my entire life on, Human Beings.
Yesterday I was ashamed to be a 'privileged white girl'. Yesterday I was ashamed to be a Christian. Yesterday I was ashamed to be stressed out about an insignificant University deadline.
The media did these things. I purposefully italicized every opinion that was given to me by the media of my choice. We live in a digital age where we have access to any media created by any opinion that we wish to choose from. Our newsfeeds and google searches are still tailored to us specifically and I often wonder if propaganda isn't at it's most powerful right now. Which is a whole other discussion. The power that we, as 'the people' have, is that we can defend and publish our own opinions on blogs and other social networking tools. We cannot avoid the media, the use of social networks is here to stay - none of that is going to change. However, we need to be mindful and consider how we manage and respond to these influences.
We need to make education important again, we need to reduce ignorance amongst all cultures but most importantly we need to hold our opinions loosely so that we might have important and valuable conversations that propel the world forward rather than backwards.
"History repeats itself" perhaps one of the scariest things when you consider this note from the Germans' to America that appeared on Twitter:
But again, the reality of all that Trump is or isn't, has been shaped and moulded by media. Likewise, Clinton isn't innocent. Neither of them made ideal candidates, and although I refuse to agree or condone Trump in any manner whatsoever, the American people have voted, they decided some radical change was needed in their country, and for the sake of my love for mankind, I will change my attitude, and align it with truth."So these things remain: faith, hope and love. But the best of these is LOVE" Paul.
And if you need a little more encouragement, Hillary's Concession Speech will do the trick: "Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead." - She is right.
"Our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just ever 4 years but all the time. So let's do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear." - Right again.
"And to the young people in particular, I hope you will hear this. I have, as Tim said, spent my entire adult life fighting for what I believe in. I've had successes and I've had setbacks. Sometimes really painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your professional public and political careers. You will have successes and setbacks, too. This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it. It is - worth it."
Yes. Yes. and Yes again. It is always worth it, even if it is just for one person. See the whole thing here -
Now, I totally understand that even this post might seem bias, and of course it is, it is my opinion which I hold loosely and am open to hearing more of yours, but my thoughts on this very big topic are hard to sum up in a 900 word blog posts, but I am opening the floor to have more conversations. It needs to happen for the sake of our future.
"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." - To Kill A Mockingbird.
There is a lot to find joy in, there are a lot of people who go against the grain. Not all privileged-white-christian-20-somethings are ignorant, close-minded, idiots. Just like not all muslims are terrorists.
Just as the author Liz Gilbert wrote on her facebook page: "Calm. Strong. Open-hearted. Curious. Generous. Wise. Brave. Humorous. Patient. Decide who you will be today, Dear Ones. Right now. Decide. You can do this. This is what all your training and practice has led you to. Show the people around you what a calm and peaceful strong mind looks like...... Nobody gets to take your emotional state away from you, unless you give it to them."
I realise this post doesn't solve anything and is merely another perspective, but as I fell asleep hurting last night, I began to appreciate the pain. The fact that my tears meant I am more than just myself. I care beyond my own ambition. The tears and fear gave real value to all the kind words I say to people. It meant that my claims to authenticity were valid. And I am only sharing this becuase thoughts of doubt often rob me of that peace. Set your motives straight and don't let fear cripple you any further.
This isn't going to change the world. This post might not even be read by anyone, but it is a small answer to my prayer. So now we face the day, with an open heart and a curious mind.
May you never, ever, lose your wander, Ash xxxx