When I gather with my family for Thanksgiving today, it’ll be with some trepidation. We have been divided.
I will also go with thanks. We are still together.
We made it through the worst of the worst and we’re still family. And no matter what, that’s the most important thing we have, if we’re lucky.
I have seen a lot of people saying they are not giving up the fight. I agree with them. Neither am I. I do not passively accept what is wrong. I will not.
I’ve seen many who are holding on to anger. We SHOULD be angry, they’re saying. We NEED to be angry. YOU need to be angry. It’s the only way we’ll change things.
I’m saying, give anger a rest, if only for a little while. Too much anger leads to stress, which weakens you for the long haul. We need our stamina and our spirits intact.
Look around for reasons to be grateful. Give yourself the time and opportunity to mend your broken heart-- and your relationships.
If your family is like mine, we have had deep, unbridgeable political divides this election season. Thank goodness we all decided early on to try to avoid burning that bridge.
For the most part we succeeded, mostly by not discussing politics. There were a couple of outbursts on Facebook but we got back on track quickly.
Now, I’ve heard some folks say we shouldn’t back down from our positions at all. That we should let everyone, even our families, know exactly where we stand at all times even at the cost of peace.
I say that’s bullpoop.
We all have different family dynamics. Some can discuss the issues and might even change each other’s minds. Others are intractable, with opinions baked in and unmovable.
You know what works for your own parents and siblings. Their opinions may sadden or anger us, but in the long run does it matter?
Tell me, if you saw your brother drowning in the ocean would you say to yourself, ‘Hmm, maybe I won’t save him because he voted for Trump?”
If your mom needed help, would you say to her, “No, mom, you don’t deserve it because you voted for Clinton?”
Come on, now. Take a breath and behave like a grown up. Go to Thanksgiving dinner with the family and enjoy the feast.
And I will not judge you if you avoid talking politics. Thanksgiving is already fraught for many families dealing with baggage. No need to make it even scarier. The election is over. The wounds have to heal. Why pick at the scab with the people you love?
There will be plenty of opportunities in the coming days, weeks, months and years to fight like hell for what you believe. I will be right there with you, doing what I can and encouraging you on.
But for now, happy Thanksgiving. Eat and be loving.
For this moment, for the sake of our families, give peace a chance.