After the Election

After the Election

     The presidential election of 2012 is now over. Let’s hope that some of the tension will ease and we can get back to focusing on other things again. (Big sigh of relief.) It was very interesting to watch the interactions of people during the campaigns. Unfortunately, I was witness to insults, name calling and bashing….. I’m not talking about between strangers….I’m talking about between “friends” and even family.  (I use the word “friends” loosely!)   I don’t agree with gloating and rubbing President Obama’s win in the faces of those who supported Romney. I wouldn’t do that, not my style. I also didn’t call people names or hurl insults (again, not my style).  (There were many times, I sat in front of the computer mumbling and shaking my head~ to myself!)  (I will, however, celebrate the victory.)

Now, everyone thinks that we will all get back to normal and things will return to the way they were before (in our personal relationships).  I don’t think so. I woke up to a song playing on the radio alarm clock this morning  “it’s the end of the world as we know it”. I found some irony and interest there (and wondered if there was some prophetic significance too), because some things will never be the same again. Those people who thought they could insult, call names and sling mud are wrong if they think that everything will be the same as it was before and we will all just go back to being “friends” now.

We are able to see people (and things) in a way that we never have before. The veil that has been obscuring our view is gone. Many of us will find that we have learned so many new things and see with new eyes.

It is so sad that this election brought out the very worst behavior in people.  I had a friend who always said to me, if you squeeze an orange, what do you get? Orange juice, of course.  What’s inside people is what’s going to come out when there is pressure. Many people showed me their true colors during the past months. You can try to rationalize it and try to justify it and say that people under duress are more prone to saying things they don’t mean. This doesn’t matter to me. I have never been one to hurl insults that I don’t mean. I have been (often) known to walk away from an argument until I could clear my head and respond in a way that wouldn’t be permanently damaging.  Words can be destructive, and once they are spoken, they can never, ever be taken back, even if they were spoken in the heat of the moment.  Even if you ask for forgiveness, the impact of the words remain in the memory of the person they were spoken to.

I wish I were big enough, grand enough, loving enough to say that I will forgive (and forget) all of those people who were cruel and ignorant during this election.  But I won’t. I will release those people from my life with a blessing and with compassion.  I will no longer require or desire them to stay in my space.  I will respect myself enough to not allow myself to remain in association with such deep negativity. One thing I have learned is that people do not change unless they really, really want to and really work at it. If a person drives a knife into your back, there’s a pretty good chance they will do it again.

It reminds me of Aesop’s fable about the scorpion and the frog. The scorpion asked the frog to carry him across the water. The frog refuses saying that the scorpion will sting him. The scorpion argues and tells the frog that if he stings him, they both will drown. The scorpion persists in his pleading and finally the frog agrees to carry the scorpion across the water. Of course, the scorpion does sting the frog. When the frog asks why, the scorpion says, “You knew what I was when you agreed to carry me.  It’s my nature to sting you.”

As a visionary of world peace, it’s been disheartening to see what took place during the past few months.  We have to learn to respect each other and respect opinions that are different from our own.  If we are unable to do this with the people we call “friends”, then how will we ever do it with strangers? How will we ever achieve world peace?  This is something to reflect on.  We can speak our truth and stand up for what we believe in without resorting to behavior that is uncivil.

“World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not just mere absence of violence. Peace is, I think, the manifestation of human compassion.”  ~ Dalai Lama XIV

                                 Kathy Lee 11/7/2012 

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