America is in an interesting stage right now. We’re on the cusp of something – whether or not it is greatness remains to be seen.
I don’t know who you voted for. I personally have never been a Trump or Clinton supporter. I was absolutely terrified of a Clinton presidency, and terrified-but-slightly-less-so of a Trump presidency. Because of this, what I felt when it became clear that Donald Trump had defied the odds and won the presidency was something a little bit like happiness. In the weeks since then, I have not necessarily felt upset. It has been more of a state of neutrality for me. Much like I did not have a strong opinion on whether or not I wanted Trump to win, I now do not have a strong opinion on him actually winning.
Today, while reading my Western Civilization textbook, I felt a very strong sense of fear over the future – perhaps my first time feeling fear since the end of this crazy election cycle. I couldn’t push aside the thought that maybe, just maybe history was repeating itself in the worst way possible. I finally felt, and, to a certain degree, still feel that fear that everyone seems to be seized by. So, where do we go from here?
We do what we’ve always done. We continue trusting. We trust that no matter who is in the White House, the entire world is in our Heavenly Father’s hands. We remember that we have made it through every difficult situation we have faced before (in terms of the entire country, that includes a colonial revolution, a civil war, a financial crisis to rival all others, two world wars, terrorist attacks, and, admittedly, some crazy people in Washington over the years). We choose faith over fear, and keep choosing it.
The future is unknown. But how exciting is that? How exciting is it that we are at the beginning of something new and different? How exciting is it that we live in a country that allows us to make decisions? How exciting is it that we have the freedom to make something a little bit scary happen? This is not a time for worry. This is a time for optimism. The world has not ended yet, and until that happens, we have the ability to wake up every day and live our lives to the fullest. The world is very messed up right now, but we have men and women who are willing to make sacrifices to take on the responsibility of leading us on.
“I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”
– Thomas Jefferson
Most importantly, we have a Heavenly Father and a Savior who love us. They planned the creation of this incredible country for the purpose of the restoration of the gospel. They blessed us with men who could build this country upon a firm foundation. They have led us to this point. So, why should we be afraid of the future? The Founding Fathers faced the great unknown head on, and fought a war to win this country. Maybe this is our war, fought through words and ideas. Maybe this is our time. And if it is, what a waste fear would be.
So, no, I don’t know who you voted for. But, the majority of Americans voted for change. They voted for a new direction. And I respect that. I respect that Donald Trump has not done one single thing as our president yet. While I completely and wholeheartedly disagree with many of his actions of the past, he has not yet had a chance to show us what kind of leader he will be. So why are we fearing and hating and breaking when we don’t even know? Why not wait? How many presidents have said that they would do things during their campaigns that they never did? (Answer: All of them. And they were promising things much better than walls.)
Enjoy these last few months of relative stability. Celebrate the successes of down-ballot candidates that you did support. Prepare for literal history to be made shortly. And love. Love everyone, even if they voted for someone you don’t like, or they hate your candidate, or they do things that you disagree with. Love them even if they hate you. Don’t cause the problems that the president-elect has been accused of creating himself. Show people that division is pointless. And wait.
“Notwithstanding the trouble, notwithstanding the argument, notwithstanding the increasingly heavy hand of government, notwithstanding the spirit of arrogance we so often display, notwithstanding occasional corruption in public office and betrayal of sacred trust – I marvel at the miracle of America, the land which the God of Heaven long ago declared to be a choice land. God bless America, for it is His creation.”
– Gordon B. Hinckley