Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Empathy

Tuesday’s election made me realize that I live in a liberal bubble. I bragged about my diverse network last week, but, of all my friends and contacts, only one individual has expressed pleasure at the outcome of the elections. I’ve surrounded myself, both physically and virtually, with people just like myself. And that has left me out of touch with half of the country.

It boggles my mind that anyone would choose Trump, yet, as I compose this, 59,704,886 Americans have voted for him. I refuse to believe that one out of two American voters is a fearful, hateful person. I believe that people are basically good. And I believe that it is my civic duty to spend the next four years diversifying my relationships to better understand, and empathize with, those that hold opposing political views to my own.

After the 2020 election, I hope to count both “losers” and “winners” among my friends. But, most of all, I hope that I don’t see the two sides as disparate factions.

Enough with the politics and on to the clothes . . . I pulled out the Mickey and Minnie sweater for our Toastmasters “Disney Dreamin” themed meeting. We had Mickey Oreos, enjoyed hearing some Walt Disney history (courtesy of Beefy), and tried not to talk about the election (or attack the single Trump-supporter among us).


Sweater, Forever 21. Tunic, Wet Seal. Leggings, Allen B. Sunglasses, Target. Bag, Rebecca Minkoff. Boots, Style & Co (thrifted).

(Actually, this sweater is even more apropos considering that I can never decide whether Mickey and Minnie are hugging or choking each other.)


I do not intend to begin a political debate in the comments, but if you’d like to say something thoughtful and considerate, be my guest. I will not publish hateful or inflammatory comments.


Beefy made me wear this stupid hat to our meeting, but it earned me a $5 Starbucks card from the Toastmaster. Sometimes, looking stupid is worth the humiliation. ← And that’s my general philosophy on life.

12 comments:

Rachel Frend said...

I agree with you, I refuse to believe that 50+ million people are hateful people. While Trump himself is never going to end up my Christmas card list, I'd like to think that a majority of the folks who voted for him did it just for economic reasons, their bank/retirement accounts are hurting and they think he's going to fix it. I just hope that they realize that hurting our fellow Americans (our fellow human beings) isn't worth it to build your 401K.

PS I think Mickey and Minnie are giving each other a loving strangle ;-)

STAshworth said...

Yes, a quick glance at the red-blue map confirms that you live in a bubble. I sincerely commend you for realizing this so soon after a seemingly surprising election outcome.

I want to say to so many people - dude, it's an election. They happen every four years, like clockwork. Every time they happen, about half the people are disappointed at the outcome.

Anonymous said...

A well thought out comment on the election. I like the way you used it to find something in yourself to consider.

I too would have worn the hat for a Starbucks card!

~J

Kasmira said...

Rachel - YES, loving strangle! Makes me think of the Avenue Q song, The More You Ruv Someone.(If you don't know the lyrics, it goes something like: "The more you ruv [love] someone, the more you want to kill them.")

STAshworth - even my friends in other states are upset, like Ohio. (I haven't asked my friend who lives in Florida!) I don't remember so much grieving after past elections, but maybe I wasn't paying attention.

J - I'm probably introspective to a fault! Or we could call it egomaniacal. ;) Either way, I can only change myself, not those around me.

Ann said...

Your words are inspiring! I can tell you that although I did not vote for either majority candidate, I have many friends who did vote for Trump entirely because of the Supreme Court issue. And even they are perplexed as to whether his election is a good thing or not. My more liberal friends are stunned, of course. Who knows what is ahead? But to pursue empathy with others not like ourselves is the best place to start.

Kasmira said...

It will be an interesting next 4 years!

Tiffany said...

I've followed your blog for years, since I was living in Cincinnati, and I always respect your thoughtfulness. For Rachel Frend who refuses to believe 50+ million people are hateful, as a woman of color, I ask you to consider the racist acts which have occurred during the campaign and since the election. I ask you to know that I've lived in Ohio my entire life and in my 44 years have been subjected to racist taunts, blatant discrimination and daily micro aggressions. Yes, there is a large number of people in America who are hateful and some of them are people you know.

STAshworth, it's about more than an election, it's the fact that racists now feel emboldened to behave in public in complete terrible ways towards minorities. It's about electing a man who is a misogynist bully, who has little tolerance for minorities.

As a double minority (black woman) I am concerned for my physical and psychological safety during the next four years and that's a reality for many POC, women, Muslims, homosexual, disabled, non-cisgendered white men. I am hoping my family and I can survive during his reign.

akumaxkami said...

Less than half the country even voted, so the good news is - only about 1/4 of the country is comprised of really horrible and hateful people.

Kasmira said...

I knew someone would call me on my white privilege to hold hands and sing kumbaya. Thank you for sharing your perspective.

Kasmira said...

I am so curious about the motives of those who didn't vote. As a former Jehovah's Witness, I know it wasn't all disillusioned slackers.

C said...

after the election, I feel as if we really are 2 countries.. the "Not- united" States and it is not a really good feeling

Kasmira said...

I agree. But a part of me wonders if this is how conservatives felt for the last eight years.