I don’t know about you, but this past week has had an almost surreal feel to it. Our nation’s long and contentious election is finally over, with a result that surprised many of us. I had hoped that the end of the election would also bring an end to the ugliness, but sadly, that didn’t happen. The internet is filled with the same intolerance, anger, attacks, and counter attacks that we saw during the campaign months and it seems as if there is no end in sight to any of it. Sweeping generalizations seem to be the norm, along with finger-pointing, blame, and a complete refusal to listen to anyone who has a different point of view.
I actually considered taking a break from it all by refusing to watch any television news, staying off social media sites, and avoiding the internet all together. It’s just too depressing, and sometimes makes me feel as if there is no hope for our country, or even our world, when so many people seemed so intent on sharing every single angry thought that crosses their minds, with no concern for whom they happen to hurt in the process.
But then I realized that by doing so, I would also be cutting myself off from many friends and family members who live far away from me and stay in touch via Facebook. And I would also be withdrawing from the world of blogging, and I didn’t particularly want to take a break from the blogs I enjoy reading and from my blogging friends whose writing and comments usually brighten my day. There is certainly a lot on the internet and news that’s upsetting, but there is also a lot that is comforting and affirming, and I can’t avoid the bad stuff without also cutting myself off from the good.
So, I decided that it’s time for me to simply get on with the business of living my life. I’ll complete the necessary chores before me, continue with my writing and volunteer work, speak up (in a civil and respectful way) when I see injustice, and take care of my family and those who need me. An when I do find myself feeling angry and threatened, I’ll try very hard to remember that it’s not okay to take those feelings out on other people. I’ll also try very hard to focus on all that is good and positive in my life.
In just two days, my son is getting married to a wonderful young woman who is going to be a terrific daughter-in-law. Friends and family are going to gather around them as they take this important step together, affirming their love and their commitment to each other. We will eat, drink, laugh and dance (or in my case, try to dance) together as we celebrate this union. Because often, in spite of everything that is going on around us, life can still be very, very, good.