The presidential election results and the tumultuous aftermath have left people scarred and angry. I have heard often that people are afraid of the fallout in their own families: brother against brother, partner against partner. Here are 7 tips to help you bind the wounds and move forward well:
- It is important to realize that when you forgive, you are not throwing justice under the bus. Yes, forgive, but fight the good fight for what is good in the country.
- Each side has an argument against the other side. Yet, my questions are these: What are the intentions of the people at whom you are so angry? Do you think they are saying, “My method is bad and my desired outcome is equally bad”? Even if you disagree with the actions, can you see that the desired end—from the others’ viewpoint—is the quest for the good, even if you think that is misguided?
- Did you know that many of the people on the other side once were children who suffered hurt in childhood. He ran to his mother when he fell down and bruised his knee. She talked with her father, through her tears, when bullied at school. These are real-life persons with real-life struggles and wounds that started a long time ago, when they were growing up.
- You may not be aware of this, but those on the other side did not have an easy time in adolescence, because, well, few make it through that time period unscathed. Did you know that people on the other side have been wounded by rejection of peers when in adolescence, struggled with romantic attempts that were awkward for them, and fought through the demands of high school?
- Did you know that people on the other side have hopes and dreams? They, like you, are hoping for a little place to live, a well-meaning job, and meaningful relationships. And did you know that none of this is coming easily to many of them? Some are really hurting inside because of this.
- Did you know that each one of the people on your side and on the other side are striving for a little happiness in this troubled world? It is not easy to find that happiness. Sometimes we look in the wrong places, but it is for happiness nonetheless that we seek. Those who have hurt you are seeking happiness and it may not be the way you would have chosen, but that is their quest nonetheless. They are human. They are fallible. They share with you one important thing: a common humanity.
- Can you, each of you on the other side of the divide, commit to doing no harm to the other? I know you are angry, but what now will you do with that anger? Will you pass it along to your children? to you partner? to your co-workers? Or, will you stand with the pain, that eventually will end, for the sake of the humanity of those who have hurt you…..as well as for those who are innocent bystanders who now could be hurt by that anger?
Perhaps it is time to forgive as you seek justice. The two, forgiveness and justice, go well together.