Promoting Acceptance After a Whirlwind Election
The Presidential election rocked the United States, leaving many feeling hopeless, fearful, excited, or perhaps confused. No matter what emotion each American experienced, it seems as though everyone has some sort of commentation on what happened; citizens across the country felt the need to express their feelings about the outcome in some way or another.
For some, this means protesting, for others heated in-person and online debates ensued; however, most Americans can agree that the need for a unified country is a necessity. The nation truly is stronger together.
In an effort to promote acceptance and harmony in this shared community of Camas High School, the journalism team put together some ideas to bolster positivity and ensure all students in Camas feel as though their voices are heard and can call this school a safe place. Here is the list of recommendations they came up with:
Agree to disagree: There is absolutely nothing wrong with a polite and respectful concession to disagree with another; this displays mature thought and an ability to concede and consider other positions without potentially shifting an original belief or stance. Try to challenge the conversation and look for a place where the stance can find a common ground that is unifying rather than destructive.
Be open minded and respectful: Even if you are firm in a belief or position, hearing others explain a particular stance and probing them to question why they hold this belief may evoke thoughtful dialogue that is more intellectual and affective then simply hurling insults back and forth. Additionally, hearing why someone holds a specific position on an issue may allow you to better empathize with their reasoning and allow for deeper understanding. Each individual is allowed to believe whatever they choose. This is the beauty of the American democracy, and while there does not need to be universal agreement, universal acceptance has no exceptions, unless a belief is one of discrimination.
Self advocate and ask questions: Standing by your original beliefs and positions on a topic is also okay and important. Looking for good outlets such as submitting a piece anonymously to the Camasonian or writing a private or public piece about your feelings is also a wonderful and peaceful form of acceptance and advocation. Additionally, peaceful protest is perfectly within your rights to freedom of speech and displays political participation. Also, there is nothing wrong with getting clarifying information on another position and why others hold this stance; this will only increase compassion and understanding for all.
Educate on opposite viewpoint: While it can seem daunting or unappetizing to dig into the views of an opposing party, educating through reliable news sources and not just relying on social media sites to deliver news is important in political participation. In order to truly understand another point of view enough to have a meaningful conversation, both parties must be fully educated and versed on what the other side is reading and hearing.
Positive ‘vibes’: In the most simplistic terms, embracing and being the “change you wish to see in the world”, is a magnificent output of emotions during the next few weeks, months, and years. Spread constant positivity and optimism. Do good. Stand up for minorities and those without a voice. Volunteer and serve those less fortunate and vulnerable, rather than using energy on hate or destructive rioting. The world can become a better place for all.
Self monitor: One of the hardest but most important life skills to have is the ability to hold your tongue in moments you feel as if you want to scream. It is obvious emotions and tensions are running high in this country. Simply holding back insults or choosing not to post that hurtful, long rebuttal you wrote can help to create an atmosphere of love and acceptance rather than of fighting and dissension.
One of the strongest emotions humans have is hate; the only complement to this is love. It may sound trite and cliché, but love and acceptance truly are stronger than hate. America has endured much, and it will continue to survive through this trying time, so long as the nation stands together, committed to the notion of perpetual support and unwavering reception of one another’s beliefs.
So go watch a funny show, volunteer at a local soup kitchen, go to a peaceful protest, or whatever your heart calls you to. Be a positive light in this world, and while you are at it, Google some Biden memes. No matter what party you support, Republicans and Democrats alike cannot resist the greatest unifier of all: laughter, especially when it is directed at the adventures of Joe Biden.
Finally, if you feel so inclined, write a comment down below, sharing your favorite way to promote acceptance.
Also, take a look at this video of an experiment where a woman goes to a Trump rally with a Hillary shirt and visa-versa. Watch what happens.