The recent elections created a divide in our country. Many people were happy with the election outcome while many others felt angry, letdown, frustrated, and even hopeless. How do we make sure that this mood and all the emotions we're carrying around don't end up on the dinner table when we sit down for Thanksgiving dinner? There's a good chance that some of our family members didn't vote for the same candidate as we did and we may feel an urge to confront them for their choices. Perhaps we'll think of creative and subtle ways to bring up the topic so we can get into it and express our feelings and emotions.
No doubt, the election is going to be the elephant in the room and can't be avoided. However, we don't want the elephant to go wild and trample and smash everything we came together for. We can either avoid the topic altogether which might not be a bad idea or we can agree to not discuss it until after our stomachs are filled and we feel content.
If we do approach the topic, we have to do it while trying our best to respect the other person's opinion. This requires us to keep an open mind and open ears so we can hear where the other is coming from and what their reasons were for voting for whoever they voted for. Getting angry at others and judging them for making the choices they made will be like poking the elephant and can sour the entire atmosphere and it has the potential for sucking others into it.
We can see this challenging time as an opportunity to go deeper in understanding each other and what we stand for. Let's try our best to not let the political situation divide our families and friends. Our relationships are the most important thing we have, so lets utilize the opportunity to understand each other better.
We can also try and keep "thanks and gratitude" as the main themes of the gathering. If we are able to recall and share with each other our gratitude for the wonderful things that are taking place in our lives and offer appreciation to each other, then the holiday gathering will leave us enlivened and inspired.