Before you read any further you need to know that I wrote this column before the last votes were cast, before any returns were tabulated and before a new President was announced. I don’t know if there was an anointing, a concession or some other form of power transfer but what I do know is that we have elected a new Commander in Chief. Here are a few more things for which I am fairly certain:
1. We are not in the midst of a military coup.
2. We have not declared war on any other country.
3. We have not launched nuclear warheads.
4. Russia has not invaded.
5. Most importantly, the significant challenges (and opportunities!) that existed yesterday, are still present today and will be with us tomorrow and the day after.
I recently stumbled upon a blog written a few months ago by Beth Moore, a prominent Biblical scholar, well in advance of yesterday’s election. Some of her comments stuck with me. She began “in November, we cast our votes. But if we cast our confidence into our candidates, woe be unto us.” She continued with words that really hit home, “we are only as powerless as our passivity. We still have voices to raise for the vulnerable. We still have feet to run to the aid of those in crisis like single mothers who need support. Like under-served school kids that need tutors. Like neighbors who are being ostracized. Like the homeless who need help with shelter. Like teenagers who turn up with unwanted pregnancies. Like the hated, mistreated, forgotten, overlooked, unheard. Paul didn’t tell the government to overcome evil with good. He told us to!”
In spite of what we have been told over the past 18 months, we live in the greatest country on the planet. That fact has never been in doubt. And while our democracy mandates a strong Commander, it does NOT imbue responsibility for ours and our brothers and sisters well being to he or she (see I really don’t know who won!). Rather, that responsibility lies with each of us.
My hope is last night we all heard words that will unify; a narrative that will allow us as a country to bury the vitriol, find common ground and move forward to tackle the significant challenges in front of us all. Language is important and I am hopeful that the winner and loser found a way to begin to unite us again.
So regardless of who takes the baton in January 2017, let’s keep in mind that our communities still need to grow; after all, a strong economy solves many woes!
As Beth Moore said, “if we cast our confidence into our candidates, woe be unto us.” As professionals vested with responsibility for helping communities grow, it is our job to ensure that community building and inclusive economic growth are advanced! Rather than continuing to battle, let’s begin to heal and in the healing move forward for the benefit of all those we are here to serve.