I found myself Wednesday morning in the same boat as half of the USA who voted in the 2016 presidential election: sad and shocked. It was easy to read all the things that at first blush made sense. Candy for the brain in the form of statements being made declaring everyone who voted for Trump to be racist, sexist, misogynistic, xenophobic, backwards, illiterate… the list of adjectives were nearly endless. I saw posts from others saying “Why aren’t all these people who threatened to move to Canada going to Mexico? Oh… WE know.”
I needed to step away from the internet for a while, at least in as much as I could. So, I did.
I worked on some things at the office. Mindless paper wrangling that allows my mind ample time to ponder this new situation. And, clear as day, a thought popped into my head, “Seek first to understand…”
Knowing I’d heard the quote before, I searched for that snippet, and immediately results filled the page with the full quote from Stephen Covey, the one and the same who wrote the book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People“.
It was then that I had a small, “Ah ha” moment. It did no good to wallow in sadness and shock. What was done was done. It would be easy to lash out blindly to verbally wound those who “made this happen”, but that would be irrational. And, I don’t like irrational behavior.
So, I’d like to understand why people feel that Trump was the better choice. Yes, I find his actions and words repugnant across the board, but I have always preferred to understand motivation of one’s actions and words than accept them with a flippant, “That’s just how they are.”
So, I’ll ask questions when appropriate and read what I can in my attempt to make sense of what appears nonsensical.
And while I do that, I’ll still condemn the words and actions of those who continue to perpetuate fear in the form of racism, sexism, misogyny, and xenophobia. After all, if I am first seeking to understand, I want it to be understood that kind of ugliness has no place in this world.