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.
* 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.