Daily Archives: November 12, 2016

Understanding and Empathy: Key to Unity

More than the results of the election, I have been disheartened by our reactions peppered  all over social media. It has forced me at times to quickly scroll by, because some are from people on both sides that I love and respect.  This election outcome has resulted with protesters in the streets yelling and claiming he’s not my president. Sadly, I believe that if we had the opposite result, the reactions would probably have been the same. There would have been haters of Hillary shouting “lock her up”, she’s not my president.

Why is there such polarity? Why so much anger? Why such despair?

For one, I believe that Mr. Trump did incite or raise in people emotions or feelings most would try to keep at bay. Although, I accept the results, it was not easy. Although,  I could not find myself voting for Mr. Trump, I didn’t hate him. I just did not believe that he had the qualifications, integrity, nor the temperament. I believed that his antics betrayed what he proffered as his values. However, I do know that if, and when he is sworn in, to wish him failure, would be to wish our own country’s demise, so I do pray he succeeds.

I was glad to hear that Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader said that the Democrats would be willing to work with President-Elect Donald Trump. This was unlike, then House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell upon Mr. Obama’s election to the presidency, saying that the Republicans would do everything to ensure President Obama was a one-term president.

So, after eighteen months of divisive rhetoric, bullying tactics, demonizing of groups; I personally don’t think that it is hard to understand why some are left with anger and despair. But how do we get from here? Protesting will not change the result of the election.

How can this country come together?

It’s been said that you need to walk a mile in a man’s shoes to know why they do what they do. I think it is true because it helps you to empathize, and not rush to judgment.

How would you respond to life and its circumstances if your lot in life was different? If you were born into another race, and another environment? Have you ever seen a homeless person out begging and you actually thought “that could be me” or “there go I except for the grace of God?” I say that because it really is the grace of God. He does determine our lot in life.

“And hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.” Acts 17:26 KJV

I have quoted this scripture in several posts; because it grounds me, and humbles me. I know that I might be a totally different person had I grown up in a different environment, under harsher circumstances. But God has granted me a life filled with a  family of  nurture, love, role modeling of good work ethics, and where church plays a vital part of life. Those factors helped to make me who I am.

Have you seen the movie Trading Places from the 1980s? Two elderly and very wealthy brothers make a one dollar bet with each other as to whether it’s your heredity or your environment that makes the man. So they take a street hustler, played by Eddie Murphy, and trained him in the commodities brokerage business and he flourishes; while they set out to reduce aristocrat, played by Dan Akroyd to poverty by publicly framing him as a thief, drug dealer and adulterer, who ends up at the mercy of a prostitute. Interesting movie. Are we products of our environment?

So while I don’t see any merit in protesting the election outcome, or berating those who voted for Mr. Trump, I think it would go a long way if both sides would try to consider why people may feel the way they do.

Understanding and empathy could very well be the key to getting us to unify.