Here’s Hoping . . .

Walking into my polling place yesterday I was greeted warmly by a neighbor who had just finished voting and was on her way to work.  I checked in with the friendly volunteers and took my place in line.  My neighbor who brought amazing beer and coffee and bread and sausage within a short walk of my house (via the Hoppy Dog) was in front of me.  A former student was in line just behind me.  The strangers next to me chatted pleasantly.  I watched as another neighbor who likes to have coffee at the same time as my husband and I most Saturdays (and is blind) was guided to a booth and given headphones.  I thought about those women years ago who fought hard to win the right for me to be at the polls at all.  And then I thought about kindness and positivity and hope.

Thanks to my decision to cut way back on social media time and my lack of easy access to television I was shielded from a great deal of the election-related negativity.  But I knew it was there.  I heard other people talking about it.  I caught snippets of when the television was on at the gym, bar or hotel.  I couldn’t miss it on an occasional scroll through facebook.  It’s impossible for something so big and  national not to permeate.

I know that campaigning is all about winning and that one certainly has to play the game to win.  But as the election season winds down I find myself weary of a game that involves both sides dodging questions and focusing on polarizing issues instead of concrete plans.  I find myself hoping for some bipartisan political kindness.  Not kindness in the sense of “playing nice” or “all getting along” but simply in a committment to listen more and call names less.  To move towards progress and healing and away from intentional divisiveness.

So tonight, for the neighbors, volunteers and strangers I voted alongside yesterday.  For the women who fought for my right to vote.  For our country. I hope.

 

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