My feet are throbbing almost as hard as the music at the Obama victory party last night at the Century Plaza here in Los Angeles. Dreadlocked dudes, Brentwood matrons, geeks and grandpas danced and hugged. We were the patchwork quilt of the fabric of goodness that is America.
Don't Burst My Election High
As elated as you and I may be, there are plenty of Americans that don't feel the same way. Big globs of hate have been hurled all over this nation. They even hit my beloved hero, Oprah Winfrey. Oprah talked about some of the calls she received on a radio show yesterday. "My switch board needed therapy. I got some hate calls. They had never been called the N word so many times. It was bad. It was really bad. It was go back to Africa bad. We are gonna lynch you kinda bad." If this is what they were saying to Oprah ...image the venom out there.
It may be hard to imagine but nearly half the country is in a dispirited funk. There are others that are down right terrified of an Obama presidency. Why? One in four Texas voters believe that we just elected a "Muslim" which is code for terrorist. I just did a live chat for the Dallas Morning Star and let me tell you, there are folks in Texas that are...pissed.
The Grinch Stole Halloween.
It's not just Texas. Last week Shirley Nagel, a Grosse Point Farms, Michigan woman, proudly denied candy to any children who didn't agree with her presidential pick of McCain.
A sign on her front door read, "No handouts for Obama supporters, liars, tricksters or kids of supporters."
She asked children who they supported. If they didn't say McCain/Palin she told them to go away. Empty handed. Four-year-old Cinderellas and Batmans sobbed.
When the reporter told her that she saw parents who were upset and kids who were crying, Nagel's response was, "Oh, well. Everybody has a choice."
Yes, everyone does have a choice.
The New Ground Game
The reason I bring up the feelings of the disgruntled McCain voters is because I believe that you and I need to be the agents of the change that we voted for. In his acceptance speech last night Obama said, ""So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other." We need to be leaders in helping to rebuild our nation in the coming months. Being a gracious winner is the first step toward healing the divide.
You and I are called upon to reach out "across the aisle" and be the ambassadors of the change that we voted for.
HuffPo readers like you are some of the most conscious and spiritually aware folks in the nation. You have the care and vision to be the catalysts of healing for America. Barack Obama, called upon us to live beyond our partisanship and be the people of the United States of America. To do that we will need to dig deeper than our mind and emotions. We will need to rise up and act from our higher nature.
Be the Change
My response to Shirley Nagel is "Yes, everybody has a choice." It is easy to judge Shirley as hateful and ignorant. However, I believe that it is the people like Shirley that need our compassion the most. "As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, We are not enemies, but friends...though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection." Having just been on a live chat with angry Republicans, we need a ground game to heal hearts, families and neighborhoods.
This isn't a political agenda, it is a spiritual agenda. when the work BEGINS. Our nation needs to erase the red and blue lines that have poisoned our relationships and our country. But how?
Healing Relationships Damaged By Politics
Listen. Be a gracious winner. Giving a Republican in your life the gift of listening to their side can be very healing. Imagine that you are listening with your heart. If you are tempted to be a buttinsky, limit your side of the conversation to two sentences. "I hear you," or "I hear what you're saying."
Finding what you appreciate in McCain/ Palin can help build a bridge across the Red and Blue divide. In looking at this I realize that I deeply honor McCain's life long service to our nation. Palin's gutsy flying leap into national politics is admirable.
The Higher Common Ground
Ask, "What is it that you hold most dear?". You will discover that each of us cherish the same values. We all love our children and our nation. Have a conversation where you discuss those things that are most important to you.
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