The Election: Looking Forward

8:32:00 PM

     Two weeks ago I cast my very first ballot in the United States election. And you know what? It was beyond my wildest dreams. In my first election of voting age I got to cast my vote for a woman.
Growing up, I had no idea which party my parents identified with. I remember being a junior or senior in high school and taking a US Government class and still being completely unable to discern which party my parents stood with. I take this as a blessing. My parents spent their time working to instill strong morals in me. I was taught to always see others as my equal, to always exhibit kindness, and to stand up for what I believe in. I have never had such an appreciation for these values as I have over the last 24 hours.
     This election has been incredibly divisive, even across my own family. Through it all, I never lost hope. I hadn't realized how strongly I cared until last night, as I sat watching the results pour in with tears streaming down my face. I couldn't calm down. I live my life with the belief that the general population is inherently good and last night my faith was tested.
     When I woke up this morning, I had those few blissful moments before I was truly awake where I didn't yet remember. And when I did, my heart broke. It breaks for every single person who has been made to feel inadequate or unsafe. That is not okay.
     My mom and I talked this morning and she sent me this video, linked, talking about what to say to the girls of this nation following such a devastating loss, especially to me as her daughter.
     Traditionally, I shy away from posting my beliefs on hot topics such as this. I prefer not to get into it because I always have believed, and still do believe, that people are fully entitled to their own opinions. But the one thing that has given me continued hope today was reading posts and articles from so many that highlight that the general will is still good. I genuinely believe that people want what's best for this country and for one another.
     I think that at a time like this, it's important to show each other that we care. That everyone individually is important and valued. Today I reached out to one of my best friends, who happens to be gay, to let him know just that. And you know what? I felt a whole lot better and he did too.
     I would like to ask that everyone work a little harder to show their love. The world is still good and things will continue on. It is up to us to make the best of every situation and to do our best to lead a positive life. If we do just that, things will be a whole lot brighter.

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