Gratefulness is a difficult feeling right now, for a lot of us. We advocated for the vulnerable, and a voting majority chose not to listen. Because of this, we grieve for our country’s future, with each of us in different stages of that grief. I’m personally pinballing between bargaining and depression.*
By now, many of us have aired our frustrations. Some have done so with sad-emoji Facebook reactions, and some with capital-lettered rants. Some of us have placed blame on third-party voters and sideline-sitters. Others look in the mirror, wondering if they should have canvassed, or phone-banked, or challenged those false articles that their friends posted. This is healthy. We’re learning more about ourselves, and we’re figuring out what to do next.
We usually borrow our convictions from others. They might be relatives, writers, teachers, friends, political leaders, coworkers. They took the time to speak out, and whenever our convictions are challenged, that mentor’s words echo in our minds. They made us better people.
The thing is, right now, they’re wondering if they made any difference.
I’m slowly writing the people who inspired me, letting them know that for me, they did. I am forever grateful to them, and it’s a shame it took this election to prompt me to thank them. But I’m catching up now.
I charge you to do the same. Chase down your motivators, and let them know about the difference they made in your life. They need your encouragement, and we need them now, more than ever.
And as a bonus, it’s pretty cathartic.
* There’s also a lot of understandable anger, and many regrettable words have been said. While you might be owed an apology, realize that the speaker might be grieving before you snap back.