Have you been getting on social media lately and feeling a strong urge to hide in your house for the next four years? Have you caught yourself fantasizing about running someone over with your car because they posted something so offensive and ridiculous? What about the family member or friend that you haven’t spoken to since the election because “they just don’t get it and if they voted for that person they obviously have terrible morals!” Does this sound familiar? Me too, dude. Me too. Until my own Facebook photo completely changed my prospective.
Today I was speaking to a client, a 75 year old veteran from a small town in Iowa who was sharing with me that he feels sad. He feels sad about all the hate that is happening from all sides around us as a result of this election. I too share this sadness and that conversation has been on my mind all day.
Today I changed my profile picture to the one above of my boyfriend and I with the simple message to my photographer friend “Tara I am so in love with this photo! Thank you <3 <3 <3” just because I like the picture, without really thinking anything of it.
Obviously, I am white and my handsome boyfriend is black. As I get notifications of “likes” I started to notice something pretty beautiful. I have white friends, black friends, friends from other countries, mixed raced friends, friends of the LGBTQ community, Trump supporters, Hillary supporters, 3rd party supporters, Pro-life supporters, Pro-choice supporters and so on that ALL liked that one post.
So why does that matter to me? It matters because if all my friends who liked that post really fit into the categories that we as a nation are creating, then they all wouldn’t have chosen the same post to like. For example, if my friends who support Donald Trump are all “racist and sexist,” they would not have been a part of liking a woman’s post of an interracial couple. If my friends who voted for Hillary Clinton “Don’t care about the military,” they wouldn’t be liking this photo because both of our fathers are Vets. If all black people are classified as “Only black lives matter” then why are they liking a photo of an interracial couple? If all white people “don’t think black lives matter too” then why are they liking a photo of an interracial couple?
What I learned from this experience is that I have a diverse group of people in my life and I still love them regardless of who they voted for, what their skin color is and especially regardless of their differences to me. I can think of something kind to say about literally all 949 Facebook friends I have and I bet you all can do the same with the people around you. I’m pleading with all of you to focus on being kind and embracing each other’s differences instead of creating more divide by spreading hate to people who have a different viewpoint than you do. Remember why you became friends in the first place. Think of something nice to say about that person. Try to understand where they’re coming from without judgement. We are all humans and being disrespectful to each other is never the answer.
I made a choice today to choose love, will you?