I haven't made a secret of the fact that I supported Barack Obama in this election. He wasn't my first choice for a candidate, but when it boiled down to McCain and Obama and then McCain picked Palin, my choice got a lot easier. Now, let me be clear and say that I read a lot of things, did a lot of research, looked at each of their platforms and made a decision according to who I felt most represented my viewpoint. And once I picked my candidate, I got pretty excited about it. For me, this was the first election in a long time...maybe ever...that I was truly excited about my candidate instead of voting for "the least of two evils" or against a particular candidate. This was a vote cast for someone who I truly believe is the best person to lead our country. That said, I completely respect the fact that others, many of them much more intelligent than I, disagree with me and think I've made the wrong decision. That's ok. We don't have to agree.
This morning I awoke with a sense of jubilation. The idea that there's something to look forward to and that maybe, just maybe, the massive mistakes I think have been made in the last 8 years can somehow be remedied, even if just in a small way. So, when I was faced today with comments from many who disagree with my politics that were disappointed, upset and sometimes downright hateful, I was disheartend, to say the least. Now I realize that some level of disappointment naturally comes along with the deal when your candidate doesn't win. I know I'd be extremely sad today if Obama was on the losing end. So, I realize that jubilation is a little much to expect. But I think I hoped for a little less in the way of dramatics. I realize that it's easy for me to say, since I voted for the winner, but I would hope that if the situation were reversed, I'd be gracious to those who voted differently than I and that I would then turn my energy to hoping and praying that the President-elect would be able to lead our country in a wise, humble and effective way. Now, I tend to have some strong opinions, so I'm not saying I'd do that perfectly, but I really hope I wouldn't be as fearful, hateful and despairing as some I'm hearing.
So, here's what I'm proposing. Let's hope instead of fear. Hope that President-elect Obama can do even part of what he's promised, hope that our situation in the USA and in the world is better in 4 years than it is now. Let's love instead of hate. Love the friends who disagreed with us, sometimes with hateful words and disparaging personal attacks, love the people who support positions and ideas that we strongly oppose. This is the only way we can move toward any unity in this country. Hate only produces more hate. And let's rejoice instead of despair. Rejoice in the knowledge that God is in control, regardless of who the President is. Rejoice because whether or not he was your choice, we've reached the point in this country when an African-Amercian win the Presidential election. Rejoice because so many people who normally feel apathetic and disenfranchised now feel like they have a voice. There are many reasons to rejoice if we will just look for them.
After all, wouldn't you rather hope, love and rejoice? It's a lot more fun than fear, hate and despair any day.