11/9/16 – In Response

Given the circumstances our country finds itself in- divided, fearful, hate-filled- I am praying that instead of proceeding and operating out of that fear, my generation might view this as our biggest opportunity to display our open-mindedness and open hearts; to combat the hate with love and strong character. I know my generation possesses these things, because I’ve seen it first-hand. I live in Orlando and this summer my city walked through one of the largest tragedies our nation has ever seen. And I watched love truly win.
As change and uncertainty are being thrust upon our country during this time of presidential transition, emotions are high. And people are genuinely fearful of what the future may hold. I am too. But I do know we get to choose how we respond. I’m praying that we feel the weight of the responsibility placed upon us to be more involved, and more aware, and more accessible. That we would engage in conversations that may challenge what we believe, or how we think, instead of opting out or choosing indifference. Let us be mindful of the perspectives of others. And when those perspectives are different from our own, don’t be fearful. Listen and hear and learn. So many things depend on the way we carry ourselves over the next 4-8 years, and really for the rest of our lives. I read this last night and I don’t know if I’ve seen a better piece of advice that could be offered to our generation right now. This little bit is not political advice, or patriot’s advice, but more of a standard of character we should strive for. It calls us to humility, and to generous forgiveness.
“…be about ten times more magnanimous than you believe yourself capable of being. Your life will be a hundred times better for it. This is good advice for anyone at any age, but particularly for those in their twenties. Because in your twenties you’re becoming who you’re going to be and so you might as well not be an asshole. Also, because it’s harder to be magnanimous when you’re in your twenties, I think, and so that’s why I’d like to remind you of it. You’re generally less humble in that decade than you’ll ever be and this lack of humility is oddly mixed with insecurity and uncertainty and fear. You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery. Be a warrior for love.
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things
*I have to admit, I had to look up the word magnanimous. So here’s the definition
Magnanimous (adj.): 
1. generous in forgiving an insult or injury; free from petty resentfulness or vindictiveness
2. high-minded; noble
3. proceeding from or revealing generosity or nobility of mind, character, etc.
And just that, just the definition of what it means to be magnanimous. What an incredible thing to strive for. Wouldn’t it be incredible if generosity, forgiveness, and nobility of mind and character was the legacy of our generation? I so desire that.
Regardless of who you voted for we have made it to this place now. And as a people we are fighting many battles. The blacks, the Latinos, the Muslims, the Gays, the immigrant, women, the poor, the rich, the Christian, the Atheist, the straight white male, and everyone in between, we’re all fighting. But I think at the heart of it all we are aching for the same things:
Justice
for those it’s been withheld from
Generosity
of heart and mind and when it’s asked of us, even our resources
Equality
for EVERY person
Affirmation & Validation
that no matter your social status, your skin color, your sexual orientation, etc. YOU ARE SEEN. And your pain is valid
Opportunity
for change, growth, new direction
Liberty
truly for all
Life
of all ages, stages, and kinds, to be valued and protected;
Held with high regard.
For myself, I will believe that there can be Light ahead. If we regard one another with high-mindedness, assuming the well-intention of others instead of malintent, we can go far. Those shared desires we ache for can unify us if we let them. It will take work, no doubt, but if we choose, it can be the greatest work of our lives.
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