06 November 2008

What's Done Is Done

I have always been very passionate about politics and never have I experienced such an emotionally charged election. A day has not passed in the last 10 days that I haven't shed tears. Part of this passion comes from being old enough to understand some of the grave consequences of certain choices. Whether they are honest mistakes or intentional decisions, it is agonizing to watch the country I love walk the plank. A friend has been struggling with the choices of her teenage daughter lately, and on a very small scale, I feel what she is feeling. America is my baby. To watch America turn away from me, to make choices that effect more than just herself, to misunderstand my love for intolerance, to be familiar one day and completely unrecognizable the next.... The dull ache remains.

But like others who share my political beliefs, I have been praying for a change of heart. Not for a change in my values, but for a softening of a very downtrodden heart that does not want to forgive. This is still my country. It is still my responsibility to contribute positively. Yes, voting gives me the right to moan and groan about the outcome; I can even spiral into a vast depression if I choose to. But just because I have that right does not mean I have to exercise it. My attitude is still in my control (with a lot of help from Heavenly Father).

I have prayed to become more gentle and tender. I despise the negativity that overcame me once the results were announced. Gratefully, the needed transformation began this morning. My prayers were offered without the acrid hostility of yesterday. Do I still mourn that Obama was elected? In a way, yes. It's not what I want. But that's the bittersweet nature of choice, and that's what my Savior died for. Choice. His Atonement is the pinnacle of the great plan. And He performed this great and dreadful act for our agency.

Silver Lining
* My black students have a role model that is not Snoop Dogg. They have someone to look up to that is married and loves his family, someone who rose from obscurity to secure the most powerful position on Earth. Regardless of his politics, they can see it is possible. They have alternatives.

* There is an energy surrounding Obama's election that can unify many Americans.

* I can express my dissenting beliefs today and still be alive tomorrow. Praise be to the inspiration of the First Amendment.

* I still live in a country where I can take my little boy to the pumpkin patch and enjoy a carefree moment with my family.

I love my America. It is evolving and changing in ways I could not imagine. And like a mother, no matter the road she takes, mistakes or not, I will always love my America.


Heather said...

Oh he looks so happy until you made him go home! Mean mom! He is getting so big and just adorable.

Blarney Girl said...

Again, ditto on everything you said (Mega Ditto's!) It's been a little weird, but ever since Tuesday evening I've felt peaceful about it all. At the time I was hoping it was because M/P would win, but it soon became apparent that would not be the case. I've kept the feeling since and I'm greatful. I don't like O's politics and I'm concerned about where he may take us as a nation, but it's very clear to me that the Lord know all, understands all and is in control. I continue to do my part and my life will be fine. O will be my president and I will support him when I think what he's doing is right and I'll be sure to let my Congressman know when I don't.

Side note: I'm very excited about the outcome of the Props in CA, AZ and FL. Not a big surpise that lawsuits are already being filed.

The Huffs said...

Beautiful pictures!! What a fun family outing. Jonas looks adorable!

Josh and Shyann Croke Family said...

I love those little chubby cheeks. He's a doll! And thanks for all these comments on the election. I guess I should change my attitude about the outcome as well.

Hansen's said...

Seriously Jonas is so adorable!

I have felt the same feelings you have over the past week. But what's done is done. Although Obama was not my first choice, I am glad that our country has elected their first African-American president. Now that the election is over, I am ready to support him as our new president. I really hope he catches me by surprise and dazzles me.

randa_joy said...

I've been trying to see the positive things too and be hopeful for the future and then I read things like this: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081106/pl_afp/usvotejustice
and my stomach churns. Yuck.

Jake, Sarah and Jackson said...

Last night I read an article in the LA Times on Prop 8 and the results. The article made me realize and feel that this whole situation, with Obama running and being elected, might actually be a blessing in disguise. They were saying 7 in 10 black voters and more than half of Latino voters, majority supporting Obama, voted yes on 8 whereas white and asians were split. It made me think of what the outcome might have been if Obama was not the nominee and had not inspired more black and Latino people to get out and vote. Prop 8 might not have passed, and to me that was the most important issue during this election. I tried to search for that specific article again, because it was so good, but I can not find it! There are similar articles out there though.

I love the pics!

Anonymous said...

"But that's the bittersweet nature of choice, and that's what my Savior died for. Choice. His Atonement is the pinnacle of the great plan. And He performed this great and dreadful act for our agency."

This, on the same blog where Prop. 8 is so openly supported, and the rights of agency and choice being so openly degraded.

I am in awe that you cannot see the hypocrisy.

Jennifer said...

He is so cute! But I think you picked the wrong pumpkin to take home. He wants the other one.

Go Prop 8.

Cheryl said...

look mom--my pumpkin has a boogie on it...wah!

Jeanette said...

After the election results, I keep going back to this memory of mine when I was at BYU when Pres. Clinton was elected (the first time). I remember being by a large group of students and a young man announcing that this meant the second coming was near. I am not a fan of Clinton, nor Obama, and maybe the second coming is nearer, but we will go on. We will continue to strengthen ourselves, our testimonies, our families, and our church. If we go forth with faith and not fear, we will gain so much.

Thanks for your words.

Jonas is so cute. Looked like perfect punkin weather. :)

Jennifer said...

Dear Anonymous,

I respect that we differ on this subject and welcome your perspective if you desire to engage in an open dialogue. To address this further, please leave your contact information, as I prefer to know who I am talking to (or if we already know one another, call me. I won't even gossip about it to our mutual friends *wink* ). Otherwise, keep smiling.

A note to my other readers: If Anonymous chooses to leave his/her contact information, I request that you respect his/her privacy and refrain from contacting him/her. I will of course remove the information once I view it to protect him/her from unwarranted harassment (not that I expect that from any of you, but hey, you never know). And you, too, keep smiling.

Janae Walker said...

great post! i actually posted something a little bit political on my blog....i was nervous that i would get random people making horrible comments, but i did not. i, like you, love living in a country where we experience so many freedoms. i hope that the change that happens will be somewhat good...at least we live in a place where we can vote :)

The Richardsons said...

Ok Jen,when you run for mayor/governor/president, I just hope it's in a state where I get to vote! You are so incredible with the way you can word things of a political nature without offending the known world (as I have a tendency to do- hence the lack of political posts on my blog...). Seriously, you're awesome!