The Grace of Sharing Part 3

Here are the Georgetown email thread remarks, a great Rohr quote, and my thoughts which are a bit dated now, but were “penned” on Thursday after giving myself some time to ponder last week’s election outcome.

In addition, I want to preview coming attractions in this blog.  I’ve been wanting to address a more civil way of being in relationship with one another for some time now.  There seems to be no time like the present to discuss that topic.  So look for that theme in coming weeks.

As always, I appreciate your readership and perspectives.  Some of you choose to share your thoughts when we speak and that’s great.  Some choose to share them here on the blog via comments and that’s great, too.  My goal is to share my journey and my learning which includes all of you and, fortunately for me, your wisdom makes me think and grow.

And now for more perspectives on last week’s election:

The following emails came from the Georgetown thread:
#14
To my esteemed colleges in the Georgetown community,

I live outside of the beltway, outside of the Washington-New York power corridor, and my offer to each of you is to see that much of the country’s rejection of the status quo was a rejection of the vast influence peddling and dealing involving both political parties, that seems to marginalize all of us and our values who live in the heartland.

We are the people who appeared as red on the map last night. All of us have a local perspective and we naturally assume that because we, our neighbors and our friends see the world one way that all must see the world that way. Ask yourself if you even knew anyone who voted for Trump? Or for me did I know anyone who voted for Clinton?

My take from way out, west of beltway, is that those of us in the rest of the country rejected the media, government, industrial power complex that does not represent us.

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#15
My husband said something that struck me last night. He said, “ok, now I can make the space in my life to do something purposeful.”

What he meant was, he was voting Democrat, but besides that he hadn’t done much or put time into furthering the values he holds dear or pushing forward the policies he believes in.

Now, instead of just gliding by on a win, he is in a position where he feels compelled to rise up and bring purpose into his life. He felt empowered by that opportunity.

Our house is very saddened by the election, but I’m joining him in a desire to work harder and be more active in creating the changes we believe in.
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#16
Greetings Peacemakers and Bold Change Agents,

Wow. What a week. As this political election train pulls away from my station, I’m left wondering what now? Oh wait, here comes another mid-term election train. Wait – that’s too soon. I’m not ready. And I close my eyes.

As I sit in this silence and darkness, the clarity about my purpose becomes more clear. As a Coach and Facilitator, I know I am in the right place to help our country move forward. I am also starkly aware that I am somehow one rung removed from the real work of my Clients and participants and that actions speak louder than words. I can’t just sit here. I’ve got to do something.

I open my eyes.

I commit to everyday fighting the society that PET (President Elect – who he shall not be named) espoused to create.

I commit to “standing next” to those who are bullied, isolated and marginalized and hearing their stories and providing space for them to share, learn and grow.

I commit to learning more about the rural communities that are really suffering. For example, recently I read about a story where a small business owner’s healthcare out of pocket ceiling went from $9k to $26k in three years. That would swallow a family financially and if you’re in a rural area with no other job options, what choice do you have but to vote for change? I plan to read the Hillbilly Elegy (NY Times Bestseller) to learning more about the poor white community.

I commit to learning more about systemic racism that I recently read about in Waking Up White which is a tremendous read, by the way. So good that I recommended it to my daughters’ public high school English Team leader. I will continue my learning by reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

I commit to learning more about the Muslim communities and their unique challenges to living and thriving in this country. I will read Love InshAllah on a recommendation from a progressive book club I recently joined.

I commit to opening my heart and mind to new possibilities for all people, all religions, all loves, all families, all people. There is room, in my world, for all to coexist. And I am noticing that the next generation, is far more open to possibility than who voted for the outcome earlier this week. Their world is already a blend of all types – though agree that I live in a diversity bubble in the outskirts of Washington DC.

I commit to becoming more engaged in local politics so the skill sets needed at the national level are honed and grown locally. Like a baseball team’s farm system of growth for politicians. I view politics as an arena for gladiators – and after one is left standing, they have to shift their skills to connection, agreement, empowerment, service to others and the greater good. It is not an arena for all and for those that choose to flourish in that space, they will need my support.

I’m percolating on ideas on how to serve my community to provide a space for healing and moving forward.

I can no longer sit and wait to see what comes and what happens. I can and will make a difference in the communities in which I serve. And when I donate, I plan to support organizations that serve my commitments and also saving my planet because I believe that PET won’t.

WE ARE stronger together and I will do that with or without the PET behind me, next to me or in front of me.

Thanks for making it to the end of this long note.

Wishing you all a peaceful day. Bring goodness into the world and let your light shine bright!

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A few random thoughts from Bev:

I remember a board member who sat on one of the bank boards where I worked back in the 2000’s spoke about the erosion of America’s middle class and how it was only going to get worse. The income disparity has only grown over the years. I have watched this firsthand in my hometown community in PA. I am a product of a middle class upbringing where both parents were high school degreed but not college educated. They both worked outside the home–my father in a factory job at Firestone Tire & Rubber (on the factory floor) and my mother in a department store. They both needed to work to make ends meet and even so, our resources were modest, at best. The neighboring town where my father’s factory job was housed was also home to approximately 5 other major factories. All of them are gone now. Most of them closed in the 1980’s and 1990’s. All those jobs now gone.

I’m not saying that trade agreements are to blame. As consumers we have benefitted by lower costs on consumer goods because jobs have moved overseas. Perhaps we can’t have it both ways. But, this erosion of the middle class was clearly seen in this week’s vote. Think about the midwest; think about the rust belt (PA, Michigan, Wisconsin).

The “Change Platform” has probably won several of the last 30-40 years worth of Presidential elections. Carter when he beat Ford. Reagan when he beat Carter. Clinton when he beat George H.W. Bush. Bush 43 when he beat Gore (kind of). Obama when he beat McCain and now when Trump beats Secretary Clinton. The desperation of this last change started during the primaries when a slate of 15+ Republicans–many indisputably qualified to hold the top job–all lost to a swashbuckling outsider.

So people don’t see their lives get better–perhaps many of them actually lose financial ground–even after 8 years of a Democratic White House (yes, I know we had a Republican congress). Health costs are out of control, school taxes keep increasing, corporate loyalty to employees has eroded, regulations have increased and placed burdens on small businesses and corporations alike, and so on. You get the picture.

There are so many more reasons. Are there racism and sexism issues? Of course. We would be naive to think otherwise. People essentially look at their own lives–have they gotten better or worse and if they’re worse off, the candidate who offers the hope of change—I don’t know. Maybe?

OK…this post is already VERY long. I agree with so much of what’s been said. Compassion. Open minds. Open ears. Fighting for values and causes we believe in. Prayer. Listening to understand first before seeking to be understood.

Peace and blessings to all of you and thank you again for your heartfelt and insightful perspectives.

With much love and gratitude,
Bev

CATEGORY: All Posts, Cool SWOG Quotes, Lessons Learned, Swell SWOG Suggestions

Beverly

Learning is my passion and life is my classroom of lessons I experience along the way.

Comments (4)

I found the results of the election to be crushing to all that I ever felt I worked for in my life, including working to be a woman in leadership. But, what whispers in my ear is that I must sit with this a seek out those who I know and, yes, love, who voted for Trump and listen to them, find common ground and get a better conversation going….yes, where I live and on up. I will reach out to them, but I can’t ever accept someone like Trump. I’ve encountered his kind too much in my life and I know what they are. Unfortunately, they are charming thugs who hurt people’s lives wherever they go. Having said that, I do need to listen to others and really hear them and ask them to hear me. All I can do is hope to play some part in getting us to a place where all lives matter and all good people feel that they are heard. Goodness must prevail, harmony (and it can be noisy harmony) must prevail.

Timi, you are hitting on such a critical point. We must listen and understand. So often we polarize after a devastating loss like this. We do things like demonize the candidate and all who voted for him. That would do a great disservice to a strong voice that is trying to be heard. I admit it is hard not to turn the channel when our President Elect or his surrogates come on to speak–but now is the time we must listen, try to understand, AND still stay present with the beliefs of Lincoln and our forefathers and mothers that “all men (and women) were created equal.” Our voices must also be heard because we cannot become complacent. Thank you, my dear friend!

Read Hillbilly Eligy. Strongly recommend it. I work for a nonprofit whose purpose is to empower people to become self-sufficient (in English – escape from Poverty). I’ve been in a deep, dark place since the election, but I am committed to helping others continue to make the case that we are ALL entitled to a place in this America – regardless of our religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, etc. etc.
Thanks Bev for all you do to continue the conversation in a positive way – we cannot lose what we fought long and hard, as women, to accomplish. I refuse to believe that my daughters will have less opportunity than I had.
Let’s keep our children and their children in mind as make decisions about our National Parks, the environment, diversity, and all of the other things we have come to believe are a part of America.

HEY Deb!! So good to hear from you. I’m sorry it’s under these circumstances but I always enjoy hearing your thoughts and experiences. I just recently heard about the book you’ve recommended and, like you, heard it’s an important read to understand–not only this election–but what’s happening in America. Thank you, Deb, for the work you do. You are a crusader for our diverse culture and I totally agree with you. We must not silence our voices in this critical time for our country. Thank you!!!

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