There is no other way to say this – the U.S. election of Donald Trump as President has gripped me with grief, and fear. As each day passes, further news of the dys-function of this man, and what it portends for our county and the world, only intensifies my grief, as he surrounds himself with people who have already demonstrated that they bring no good will in exercising their new-found power. I understand the intentions of our current political leaders in expressing their desire to hold fast to the democratic principle of smooth transition of leadership, and the sound principles that they are modeling for all of us. But at the same time, I am convinced that this is not a time to remain resigned, or to accept what is to come. It is true that we do not know exactly what is to come, but because of the demonstrated words and deeds of all of the major players now coming into office, we have every good reason to remain vigilant and prepared to act at a moment’s notice.
So at this early stage in what is happening, my focus turns to one of the most important things that we all need to nurture – our sense of unity and community in speaking truth to power, in holding dear the values that form our words and actions, and in support for whatever paths we can take to assure a safe and secure future for each and every person in this country and in the world. This is not a time to turn against one another and let our petty differences tear us apart. I have been dismayed at posts on social media that criticize and demean those who wear the safety pin as a signal of solidarity with those whose safety is threatened, or in a search for answers focus on criticizing those who are only now speaking up, when they could have done much more to prevent what has happened. The fact is that any signal, any symbol, or any action at any time – these are all necessary at this moment, and our focus needs to be on creating communities that honor whatever can be done to strengthen those who seek justice and health for all. It may not be what another person prefers in substance or in timing, but it is what can be given at this moment. I call on all of us to turn away from blame and in-fighting, and to turn toward one another as allies and friends in the struggles that are now part of our future – to secure health and equality and justice for all.
If we seek to heal the divisions and the animosity that is now all-too prevalent in this and other countries, then the one thing that we can all do now is to start on a path of healing the divisions and the hurts in our own families first, and in our own communities. Our children, most of all, need to see us taking concrete actions to heal animosities, to address difference constructively and without demeaning another person for their ideas or beliefs. Our children need to learn to honor other people who are different, to value the richness that comes from diversity.
I invite you, as someone manifesting nursing, to contribute your ideas for healing in our relationships, and your ideas for building and strengthening the connections that we will surely need in the months and years ahead.