On the Election Hangover and Small Doses of Kindness

Hello, lovelies. Apologies for the crickets on here lately, but these past two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity with Halloween, our wedding anniversary, Lorelai’s birthday and a host of appointments and meetings all occurring in the same week. And then the election. Ohhh, the election.

I’ve refrained and will likely continue to refrain from discussing politics on this blog, because Lovely Leanings is meant to be a creative outlet to share pretty things, and helpful tips and provide a small piece of sanctuary from the polarizing world of politics. Additionally, rigid partisanship has already driven a deep wedge among us and regardless of Tuesday night’s outcome, unity, or at the very least tolerance, is inarguably critical in getting through the next four years. But I can’t pretend that I’m not heartbroken, confused, terrified and utterly devastated at the state of our country right now. I look at my daughter – my kind hearted, sensitive daughter brimming with curiosity, joy and innocence – and I wonder how I’m going to explain all this to her one day. I lay awake at night fearful about the nation she is growing up in and how these deep fissures in our sense of basic compassion for one another will affect her outlook on the world. It’s a difficult time to be a parent.

But then I have to take a step forward and remind myself that today is a new day and anger and fear don’t create solutions. And skepticism and distrust of our fellow neighbors, friends and coworkers won’t foster love and understanding. Our choices will. And right now, the simplest strategy I can employ to drive out the darkness I feel inside me is to practice more humanity. I choose to be kind. I choose to seek out beauty, knowledge, love and forbearance. I choose to raise a caring, optimistic, well-informed, inclusive, strong, tolerant, empathetic daughter. And this all begins at home and in our communities.

So if like me, you’re feeling hopeless and disillusioned with the state of the world, don’t despair. Instead, make it a habit to practice more benevolence and blind kindness with a renewed ferocity. Smile at strangers. Pay for someone’s coffee. Hold the door for others. Be generous with compliments and stingy with criticism. When you see a mother struggling to contain a screaming toddler at the store, remind her that she’s doing a wonderful job. Show gratitude – to nurses, veterans, teachers and the like. Obviously the road ahead will be long and turbulent, but I have to believe that restoring some of the basic human compassion that was lost over the course of this election (and in truth, many years prior) is a good place to begin. Because no matter what happens, we’re all in this together. And our children are watching.

 

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