Bravery and Grace

I’ve seen a lot of politically charged posts on social media lately, not surprisingly, because it is an election year. And, I’ll be honest, a lot of it bothers me. I find most of the current rhetoric unnecessary and rather disgusting.

Let me be clear, though, I’m not opposed to political posts on social media. I’m not opposed to healthy political debate, even though I personally avoid it like the plague. I’m all for sharing differing opinions. I don’t believe we all need to be one political party and all have the same ideas. Our differences are our strength.

I am, however, opposed to bigotry and slander and rudeness and scare tactics and spreading the idea that the world will come to an end if one person wins the election. That is what I find unnecessary and disgusting.

I believe we need two things more than ever this political season. We need bravery and we need grace.

Bravery is not jettisoning your political opinions into cyberspace. That’s just, well, jettisoning your political opinions into cyberspace.

Bravery is not a retaliatory response to an opposing opinion.

Bravery is not publicly admitting you’re a democrat (gasp!) or a republican (gasp!) or a libertarian (gasp!).

Bravery is realizing that whether or not your political party wins or loses, life will move on, you will be ok and you do not need to leave the country.

“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” – Frederick Buechner

That’s it right there. No matter who wins the election, beautiful and terrible things will happen.

Beautiful and terrible.

Terrible and beautiful.

Things will happen either way the votes are cast. Don’t be afraid.

Our lives are bigger than what happens over the next four years. If every election were life or death, we’d all be dead by now. It’s time to rise above fear and it’s also time to rise way above the very low bar we’ve set for how we treat one another.

Grace is what we extend to other humans when we acknowledge we are all human.

We are all flawed. And the reality is, in the political arena, we are all a little uneducated and we are all a little uninformed about any given topic. No one has it all figured out. No one has all the answers. No one has all the facts. No one is unbiased.

Everyone is simply human.

Let’s be gracious with one another. Be kind with our words. Be courteous. Be understanding. Be thoughtful, knowing what you say actually has an effect on other people. And be wrong every once in a while. It’s ok to be wrong.

Fear does not have to be a theme of this election season. Neither does rudeness. Let’s set the bar higher this year and maybe our candidates will, too.

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