It happened. We are stunned. Little sleep. Mind wandering. Worry. Fear. Anger. Shock.
I did not know what to do this morning. Eventually I decided to write a short task list for myself. They are reminders for right now as well as the next four years. I want to share that list, in case it is helpful to anyone else...
- Take time to mourn, seethe, sigh, and worry. You don't have to pretend not to feel those emotions.
- Lean on the friends and family who share in your disgust, dismay, and sadness. They will be with you no matter what the future holds.
- Remember that a majority of the country does not despise you or condone the awful rhetoric of the President-Elect. Hillary Clinton received more overall votes.
- Take a moment to honor the strength, resilience, and intelligence of Hillary Clinton. Her legacy cannot be the nonsense that was spouted about her during this campaign.
- Remember that politics is not the purpose of your life. What you decide to do each morning to maximize your happiness is on you.
- Make a list of the things that make you smile. Do some of those today, tomorrow, and the day after that.
- Meditate on our place in the universe. We are evolved creatures on a tiny speck of dust in the middle of a galaxy of unimaginable size. How astonishing that we are even here to feel these emotions.
Over the Next Four Years:
- Detox from politics for a time, but do not retreat from public engagement. The time to stand strong for your principles is when things seem darkest. It could be our finest hour.
- Challenge every policy that you disagree with, and fight for what is right in the next four years. But don't wish the new President to fail out of spite.
- If the new President or Congress is proposing something that you honestly agree with, voice support. We can be the example of compromise, even if others cannot.
- Cultivate your values in the local political system. Your life may be far more affected by the mayor, city council, and school board. You can make immediate change there.
- Try to find shared humanity with those who support the new President. Dogs, flowers, scary movies, baseball, grandchildren. If you want less division in the country, lead by example.
- Never forget: Life is not about "Winning." It is about Thriving in your own way, and helping others do the same.
(Originally published on PaulAlanRichardson.com)