The night of the election I didn’t sleep. Both Jake and I went to bed around 8:30 because we needed to quit watching. However, I was laying in bed obsessively checking the results on my phone and getting more and more anxious. We were both tossing and turning. Jake finally gave up around 11 and went downstairs to play a videogame. That’s when I checked and saw how close Trump was to winning and how far Hilary was.
I thought about how my 5th grade students the day prior had been scared because they thought they would have to go back to Mexico if Trump won. I thought about one of my African American students crying in the principal’s office because he was so scared of the election. I had told all of them not to worry because in my heart I was sure love would trump hate and he would lose. I was sure.
When I saw those results at 11:30pm, I cried. I was wrong and felt I had in some way failed my students. I went downstairs because I needed to be near love. I made some tea and curled up next to Jake and cried. I felt sad, discouraged and completely defeated. I finally went to bed around 1am.
The next day, I felt inspired by some of the messages of hope still out there. That Trump won because of fear, that this meant we needed to love each other harder and that we needed to listen to each other. Trump supporters are afraid of stuff going on in their life and we need to make sure they are feeling heard and feeling love. I went to work told my class that our room was a place of love only and that anything less than love would not be tolerated. They agreed. Still the day was hard and the kids were scared. Horrible things were said and done out of fear in my room. We dealt with it, we moved on. We loved harder.
My hope is that we all try to love more. However, when I log on to Facebook I see the exact opposite from both sides. Trump supporters gloating in the worst, most hate-filled way. On the other side, people are acting like it’s doomsday (we have checks and balances for a reason). Then there is the Not My President movement… Well, unfortunately, he is, because the citizens of the country you live in voted for him. That’s how democracy/a republic works. Do the results not align with what I wanted? Absolutely, but it does align with what the majority apparently wanted. We we have to respect that. If if we choose to ignore that, we are risking losing the right to vote for who we want to vote for.
We all need to take this as a sign that not only do people feel our system is broken but, also that we feel broken. We feel alone. We we need to teach our kids about democracy, not what to do if we don’t get what we want. We need to pause and teach our kids how to love everyone ferociously. We teach by showing. We show by doing.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.