Y’all, I’m literally to the point of feeling sick over this election.
Like, I’m reading things that are posted by family and friends (and even strangers) and I feel physically ill. I can’t take the arguing, the “fact-checking” back and forth, the he-said-she-said, the “who’s a worse person”, the “the Church says this, not that” and “the Church DOESN’T say this, it says that”, quoting from questionable sources, blogs, & opinions. Etc, etc, etc.
I’m over all the arm-chair politicians and moralists and theologians and philosophers of social media.
I’m tired of reading things and being surprised and saddened and shocked at what the people who I know and love are spewing that seem so out of character for them; that seem inconsistent with how I’ve seen them live and speak; that are just not well-thought-out before being spoken.
But, as my dear, fellow author recently posted on her Facebook, it’s basically like this every four years, with every election.
In less than a month, another president will be elected for our country. That person may be the person we voted for. Or it might be the other person, who we abhor. Or, maybe we voted for someone different all together or not at all. However it all shakes out, there will be people who are happy and people who are pissed. It’s cyclical, literally.
Yet, every four years, as a new president is elected, we all look back and realize that, “hey, we survived the last one and, i bet we’ll survive this new one, too.” This is reality, this is what happens.
But, you know what doesn’t happen every four years?
Our family doesn’t change much. The people who are our friends and co-workers and fellow parishioners are basically the same. Our personal community and support system rarely, if ever, radically changes.
And, guess what else doesn’t happen? The president doesn’t show up at our house when we have a personal tragedy or are having financial crisis or sorrows or pain. The government doesn’t intervene directly into the needs, worries, or joys of our life. They aren’t there. They don’t participate in our life.
Those friends, our family, our Church, and our community – these people are our life. These are the people who make up this country and keep it – AND EACH OF US – going every single day. We need each other, no matter what our political beliefs, opinions, or voting strategies are.
When school shootings happen or the World Trade Center falls or wars break out or natural disasters ravage parts of our country, it’s US, it’s YOU & ME, it’s EACH OF US that gets everyone back on their feet. It’s not democrat or republican or libertarian or Catholic or atheist. It’s PEOPLE. It’s HUMANITY. It’s LOVE.
To quote my favorite Sorting Hat from my favorite series of books:
“Oh, know the perils, read the signs,
The warning history shows,
For our Hogwarts is in danger
From external, deadly foes
And we must unite inside her
Or we’ll crumble from within.
I have told you, I have warned you.”
(HP & the Order of the Phoenix, ch. 11)
Or, to quote far more importantly than a dusty old hat with a split across it’s rim, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ:
And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand.” (Mt. 12:25)
The question we have to ask ourselves as this election is drawing to a close (thank you, Sweet Baby Jesus!!) should not be “will the nation be better after this election” because, let’s be honest, there’s a whole helluva a lot that needs to be fixed up in here, no matter who is elected. And, my guess is, this country’s not gonna be awesome again for quite some time.
No, the question we should be asking ourselves is, “Will I be better after this election?”
Am I being life-giving within my own family and community or am I building walls and creating disharmony in the places and between the people who I will need the most in my life? Am I, personally, building up this nation, or am I helping to crumbling it from within? Am I dividing the house against itself?
I hope not. Because we need each other to survive.