Where do we go after this election?

It’s hard to write this because I am in pain. Not a physical agony, though it certainly feels that way, but instead a mental anguish of what happened during Tuesday night’s Presidential election. Regardless of what side you reside on it is easy to recognize that there are numerous people in this country who are now scared, who are now in pain, and who now feel like their country has let them down. That’s the way elections work. Sometimes you win, sometimes the other side does. It’s not that cut and dry this time, but that isn’t what the purpose of this piece is about. Today we briefly diverge from our regularly scheduled music coverage and delve into a sticker subject: our feelings.

This isn’t a sappy tell-all about how many people acutely felt the anguish of what was an extremely divisive election, but it is an attempt to let you know how you can help yourself. We are at a scary point in our country’s history and we must still be able to see the good in one another. We must tear ourselves away from our computers, our phones, and all the social media that has distracted us into our own silos and instead see the actual community around us. Whether you want to believe it or not, there are communities that will be hurt by the decisions made and we must show people, all people, that we are still a United States.

I was in sort of a numbed haze all day. I have no problem saying I didn’t vote for candidate Donald Trump. I’m proud that I didn’t, but the moment for choosing is over, and this is where we are. Near where I live, there is a community center, and while on a walk I ended up inside, almost unknowingly. In there, I saw children laughing, playing, oblivious to the events that had taken place. I spoke to the man in charge, gave him my information and I am now a volunteer. Something I have never done in my life. I think if we’re to make a difference against hate, we must start at home. We must speak to our neighbors and we must know our neighbors. We must broaden our vision beyond our little screens, but onto the real world as our forefathers did.

Today is the day we start teaching a new generation what this country stands for. It isn’t going to be easy. They’re going to strip us bare. We may end up in a depression, but we must be able to look at our neighbor and say, “This is my hand and we’ll make this leap together.” We must not let fear, tyranny and hatred rule the day. We must not allow cynicism and evil to control our emotions. We must still be a beacon of hope for young people. We cannot allow them to give in to the rudimentary vindictive thoughts of Trumpism. We’re not as good as we thought, but we can get there. I still love this country. I still love what we can accomplish; I’m just not sure, now, that it’ll be in my lifetime. Together, though, we can achieve small victories that can one day bring great things. One foot in front of the other, as my mom says.

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