I wrote this just before the Jefferson County recall election last year. It seems even more apropos this year, with a few adjustments:
Tuesday night, or maybe early Wednesday morning, we should know the outcomes of this election. I wanted to revise this now, a public challenge to myself for which I can be held accountable, and to my fellow United States citizens.
This election will put many of us who have cared passionately about the outcome into one category or the other. We will be winners or losers, and no matter which side we took, we will most likely believe that our whole country won or lost with us. Emotions will run deep.
Win or lose, I hope that we will remember that we are not each other’s enemies. No matter what signs your neighbors had in their yards, no matter what words were exchanged face-to-face or on social media, we are family, friends, and neighbors. Hard times will fall on all of us, and we will bring each other meals, care for each other’s children, watch out for each other. We will bear loss and celebrate life together, because we are, in the end, human beings–flawed but loving, no matter whom we voted for.
Win or lose, we all truly do care about our country.
I’m human. I’ll stumble. Win or lose, I will be as tempted as anyone to feel smug and superior or angry and bitter. I know I will. But I resolve not to fall. I intend to stop and remember the inherent worth, dignity, and humanity of everyone around me, even those I believe were wrong, or selfish, or lazy. I will reach for humility and forgiveness. At least, I promise to start trying really hard no later than Thursday. I’ll stumble. I’m human.
Win or lose, I will never forget the amazing people I have met in the past two years of political activism around the issue of education. Sure, I’ve seen some really ugly behavior on both sides of the 2016 presidential campaign, but my personal experience working for funding for my local public schools has been nothing but positive. Nothing can ever truly diminish my faith in my fellow human beings because in the past two elections, I have met hundreds of our species’ finest.
Win or lose, I will walk into school on Wednesday morning and be the teacher my students deserve. Whom their parents voted for will make no difference. May we all go to our jobs, and out on our neighborhood streets, and to family meals and begin the work of healing. And then, may we find the strength and the grace to reach beyond that, even. And then, maybe even listen to each other–really listen–and try to understand, and love each other.