For the last two days, I’ve been debating whether or not I should blog about the US election. If I do, would it matter? Would the words I type be any different than anything already said? Or would I just open myself up to internet trolls who would tell me to get back in my igloo because I live in Canada and didn’t have a vote on Tuesday.
And if I don’t talk about the election, what do I write about? Do I go on with my blog and write something funny, as if nothing happened? I don’t think I can do that. I don’t feel like being funny. Not yet, at least.
So I’ve decided to do a combination of the two. I’m going to talk about the election, but not really talk about it. I’ll pivot. I’ll let you know when I’m pivoting. It’ll be shortly.
Donald Trump won the election. A lot of people are happy about it. A lot of people aren’t. A lot of people are terrified. I don’t need to go into the reasons why. You know them.
Peaceful protests have started in cities across America. I haven’t paid much attention to them, so for all I know, they could be just that – peaceful.
But I’m jaded. Whenever I hear the words, “Peaceful Protest”, it’s like telling me a kindergarten class is going to finger paint for half an hour and not create a mess in the washroom when they go clean up.
Sorry, but I’ve seen too many “peaceful protests” to know they don’t all end with cookies, hugs, and kumbaya. Do any of them?
If you look at social media – Twitter, in particular – you’ll notice the hashtag: #LoveTrumpsHate.
And that’s what this is about. Love. And hate. Not Trump.
This is where I pivot.
When I was a kid, there was hate in the world, just not my world. I think that is true for most children. Their world is a bubble filled with rainbows, scratch ‘n sniff stickers, and teeth under their pillow.
The most stressful or unnerving thing in a kid’s life is trying to put on their boots, snow pants, and jacket at school without the assistance of an adult.
You put your boot on the wrong foot. Your zipper gets caught. Or your foot gets caught on the inside of your snow pants and it takes forever to get it out the other end. It’s a disaster.
Then you run outside for recess and before you even ask if you can play, someone has already assigned you to a team, or told you to join the four square line.
At snack time, someone might have popcorn and share some with others. At lunch, someone might have McDonald’s and all of a sudden, they don’t have any fries left.
Everyone is so kind. And you know they don’t have “ulterior motives” because children don’t learn those words until they’re older.
By the way, my Grade 1 teacher wrote on my report card that I shouldn’t share my snack with others. I never understood why. I thought I was just being nice. If someone didn’t have food, I would share some of mine. What’s the big deal?
Allergies. Dietary concerns. Maybe Billy’s mom doesn’t want Billy eating food from Paul’s lunch bag. Yada yada yada, okay I get it. But still. I was being nice. Don’t write that nonsense on my report card.
In the summer, the kids on my street would meet up for road hockey on a regular basis. All it would take was one person to be playing outside, the rest of us would see them from our window, and all of a sudden we’re walking down the street with our hockey sticks.
We would play for hours, only stopping for juice breaks, or when a car was coming.
Being a little kid was so simple. Everyone was nice. Everyone was accepting. Everyone had someone to sit next to on the carpet at school. Girls had cooties. Boys had cooties. The usual.
Of course, as we got to the older grades, that started to change. Bullying, cliques, jokes about others, etc.
Boys and girls still had cooties, though. They always do.
And I guess that’s when children realize things don’t always stay the same. That’s when the natural divisions start. When your friend list goes from “everyone” to the people you want to be friends with.
Fast forward a bunch of years, we’re all adults, and the world isn’t what we thought it was when we were young. We grow up and see a world full of problems, with a bunch of people who do nothing but contribute to those problems.
I’m not just talking about politicians or people in power.
I’m talking about the people who feel the need to go on the internet, type out a hateful message, and press send.
Or the people who honk at you on the road because how dare you not want to break the law by speeding in a school zone?
You know, morons like that who ruin it for everyone.
What happened to playing with Lego for hours on end, or game boards? Remember when those were the things that brought us happiness and gave us something to do other than putting people down?
I’m not saying adults should be building a Lego castle every day, but…well…why not?
There is so much hate in the world. You don’t need me to tell you that.
When did we get this way, though? Maybe we’ve always been this way. And if that’s the case, how do we fix it?
How do we create a world without hate? Is it possible?
I think back to when I was a camp counsellor for kids aged 4-5. They were a handful, but they were so sweet and kind and loved everyone and everything.
I only wish I could be as happy as a 5-year-old when you play “peek-a-boo” with them. The smile on their face stretches to their forehead.
It’s a shame people grow up to be so bitter, angry, and discriminatory. I’m willing to bet they weren’t that way when they were 5-years-old, though.
If all adults could use their experience, knowledge, and maturity, while treating others like a happy-go-lucky child would, then I think we might be on to something.
How do we test this theory?
And maybe that sounds lame, or far-fetched, or even downright hokey. I don’t care.
If you want love, you have to give love. And not in the form of a hashtag, either. Go be kind to a stranger in person.
Before this post gets more preachy than peachy, I’ll end with this:
At one point, we were all children with questionable hairstyles and clothes which we deemed suitable for picture day. Some of those decisions may disappoint us now, but we must not let our current decisions disappoint that child.
Because in many ways, they knew better.