Much as I have thought (and written) about radical acceptance, I am painfully aware that in the past few weeks I allowed myself to first hope (and then believe) that my country is something it isn’t.
As I write these words, the election isn’t decided but some results are clear. A very very large number of US citizens voted for President someone who is undeniably corrupt, vindictive, incompetent, and dangerous for those of us who are not white, Christian, male, heteronormative, able-bodied, and financially secure. That’s not an opinion; it’s fact. (I won’t defend this claim with evidence; those who care already know, and those who don’t care don’t care about evidence.)
I think, because of the polls and the large voter turnout, I let myself believe that I was going to once again get to believe in what I have long thought of as common decency and common sense. The only silver lining I’m beginning to see on this gloomy fall morning is that, perhaps, in the long run, it’s better for me (and those like me) to let go of those notions. If our dreams had come fully true yesterday, it might have allowed us to go back to a kind of complacency and blindness about who we are that hasn’t served anyone well, especially those we claim to love but are having a difficult time caring for.
We are, it is undeniably true, common. We are no different from any other group of people in any other place or time, driven by all the same needs as those in any other society. We are vulnerable to the same risks and suffering as those in places we’ve long liked to think of as Other in one way or another. We need to accept that and respond accordingly.
But still, I think that today I’m going to accept my sorrow and allow myself to grieve a bit. Until my first meeting anyway, which starts in less than an hour. Life goes relentlessly on.