Now More Than Ever, We Need Courageous Actions To Partner Across Difference

All of us who voted in the election walked away with powerful, if contradictory, reactions. Yet I doubt few would disagree that Mr. Trump’s comments during the campaign were less than “presidential” — denigrating women, immigrants, Muslims, black and brown folks, and the disabled among others. (One poll I saw found that 60% of those who voted for him disliked his behavior.) Regardless, Mr. Trump is now our President-elect and I suggest that moving forward the story needs to become how all Americans show up with each other.

Post-election, we as a country are more divided and polarized than ever.

We find temporary solidarity and pseudo-comfort with those most like us. We routinely vilify and demonize others most different than ourselves. “Our truth” gets confused with “THE TRUTH”. We think we are more informed but we are only looking at our own version of reality with others who agree with us. So regardless of what side we live in, I realize that we must act to bridge the chasm that threatens virtually every aspect of our lives — family, work, friendships. How we might go about this is a hotly debated topic in the media.

My thinking got a powerful boost from a Facebook post from an old friend and client, Shelton Goode (a black man whom I met years ago when he worked at Georgia Power). Shelton’s words helped snap me back to a new and heightened sense of reality about my own work moving forward.

We will be fine, we will take it all in and figure out what really happened, what it all really means and most importantly what we do to work together to get it right for everyone. The world isn’t going to explode, in fact, I believe it serves as a huge wakeup call and we must all respond intelligently in order to keep our collective worst fears from manifesting themselves. So spend a minute in shock, or anger but only a minute because when you’re done with that the challenges we’ve faced for decades will still be there. Unless you pray, and use the intelligence that God gave you to navigate this new political system and all the appointments including Supreme Court appointments, cabinet etc., you may consume yourself with what Trump has said during the campaign, what HRC did or did not do, trust issues, charisma issues and a host of other things that don’t really matter at this point. Let’s work together for common good my friends. –SHELTON GOODE

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