As President Obama said before the election results were in, “No matter what happens tonight, the sun will rise in the morning.” In light of the recent presidential election results, I believe that everyone needs some relaxing photos of sunsets to remind ourselves that no matter what, the beauty of nature remains. Now before you get all “Well, not if Trump keeps denying that global warming exists,” or, “How can you tell us to be calm when my LGBTQ+ friends’ safety is at stake?” Yes. I am aware of all of these scary truths. But it is in the face of adversity that we must triumph with joie de vivre, joy for life. We must take pleasure in the intangible, small beauties in life to keep us going.
After the Paris attacks, I remember being in shock. France, one of my homes, is a country of joy, laughter, and love for one another, and of course tasty meals. The harsh reality that others have experienced extreme racism in my country of origin was foreign to me and I was at a loss at the injustices that were occurring. I was at a loss to see that terrorism seemed like the only answer for some.
The Bataclan, a concert venue, represented the love of life that the French hold dearly in their patriotism. You will not find many French people who will proclaim that their country is the best, but you will find them expressing it in their love of cafés, vacations, and the arts. Why am I digressing? Because when the French lost their bearings after the attacks, they got revenge by enjoying life. The only thing someone cannot take from you is your unabashed optimism and your will to fight. Thus, we must hold our head high, help each other out, and hope that our President-elect will bring good to our country. We must find beauty in our surroundings and value each other’s diversity in case others don’t. Be as inclusive as you can in response to social fragmentation.
How can I be so calm? To tell you the truth, I’m not. But what is done is done, and writing angry Facebook statuses doesn’t seem like a viable solution for the next four years. I am confident that our government will keep its head screwed tightly to its shoulders and will veto the more crazy ideas. Let us see where this takes us. The same way we want to be given a chance, we must give our future president a chance. Admittedly, he has been accused of some terrible things and definitely does not embody what I would’ve thought a great leader would, but we cannot assume anything.
If Trump’s election increases your anxiety, be constructive with your response. We have the ability to fight for the policies and social movements we want to see in our country, especially with the technology and social media we have now. There are things that we can do to improve our society with this President-elect. We cannot fight hatred and anger with hatred and anger; thus, let us love and let us fight. If you feel strongly about the climate change, there is a way for you to actively improve the US’ stance on it. This is a call for action- a chance for us to identify our country’s flaws and attempt to fix them. We can make America great, we do not need Trump to do it for us.
Let’s see the light at the end of the tunnel; let’s stay grounded. If we cannot receive love and inclusion from our government, let us do the loving and the including. Our society does not have to be controlled by our nation’s leader. In the face of adversity, “Turn the other cheek,” or whatever.