The votes are tallied, results are in, and victory or concession speeches delivered. Euphoria for some, dread for others. Take time for celebration and mourning; both feelings are real and justified.
We have all won and lost; each is an opportunity? Is there gloating, boasting, and shaming of the opposition? Does the slightest victory fuel ideas of a mandate from the entire populous? Do anger, resentment, and a desire to hamstring the winners flood your being?
Raw emotions are an opportunity to understand our motives and what drives us. The artist probes the depth of passion for inspiration to pen a lyric, scribble a poem, or fill a canvas. We draw near to our family and friends through celebrations, suffering, and sorrows. Now is the time to hear the whispers of the heart that are drowned out during the heat of battle.
What effort do you put into listening to a cross section of the opposition? The election is done and provides an opportunity to set aside our bias to actually hear how others see the world. Before the vote, we are too busy forming a rebuttal to listen to what was said. Now is a time to listen, empathize, and possibly hear for the first time.
If approaching from a position of victory, it is time to listen for how to serve the minority. If approaching from a position of loss, it is time to listen to how the majority of the electorate sees the world. In either case, setting aside stereotypes and approaching with mere curiosity will surprise even the most certain.
Give your favorite news outlet and the national talking heads a chance to rest. The neighbor over the back fence is ready to talk honestly. You and I are complicated individuals and painting with a broad brush doesn't work.
Our nation is too beautiful to overlook the elegant details that comprise the mosaic of people. Differences will always be present. The temptation to divisiveness and hatred will always be an option. However, a daily choice is to treasure the physical and relational mosaic or smear paint over it with the broad brush of generalization.
Regardless of what political party takes office, you won. You get to choose today; detailed brush or broad brush?