Post-Election Thoughts

We are now two weeks past the election. Some of the intensity of feelings has faded. The dust may be settling, though the nation is still divided. That would be true no matter what the election results had been. One party dominates every branch of government, though the vote was pretty evenly split between parties. The tendency is to pull into two disparate groups, with two diametrically opposed stories. While there may be some truth to that picture, it’s also an oversimplification that distorts reality. We have great challenges before us, no matter which side of the divide we sit on. Times are difficult.

UU Church of the Larger Fellowship minister Meg Riley says:

Difficult times can be clarifying.  Clarifying about our purpose here on the earth and how we want to spend our days.  We hear it all the time from people who have been dealt a significant blow-illness, or job loss, or divorce, or sudden death of a loved one.

So, what has been clarified?

As I consider what I am called to as a Unitarian Universalist, as a minister, as a citizen, as a human being, I’ve come up with a short list:

  1. I need to pay attention. Not to media dust-ups, but to what is really happening. I need to read and listen to thoughtful people who have real information and ideas, rather than following clickbait. When intense controversies arise over minor matters, I need to ask what I am being distracted from.
  2. I need to be prepared. I can’t be sure what I need to be prepared for. What is predicted rarely happens. Instead, we are surprised. So, if anything could happen, I need to be spiritually grounded and ready to respond ethically, honestly and strategically to whatever happens.
  3. I need to nurture my connections with others. What I know about community organizing is that it relies on relationship. I need to stay in relationship with others who can help me in responding to whatever happens.
  4. I need to continue my work for justice and compassion, calmly and rationally, thoughtfully and strategically, rather than reactively and chaotically. For me, this likely means continued work on the local and state levels where our voices can be more readily heard.

Everything has changed, and nothing has changed. The world remains a sometimes dangerous, sometimes wonderful place. My hope is that you, too, will find difficult times clarifying, and that you will find your way to pursue your purpose.

In faith and freedom,

Jonalu

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