Thoughts on The Election

Nov 09, 2016

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“In every community there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.” —Marianne Williamson

Many readers and friends and students have reached out to me, commented or emailed me on the results that will determine the next four years. At first, I wasn’t sure I should comment, as TSLL is a destination for inspiration and respite, but it is also a destination to expand oneself, to learn, to grow and to successfully navigate life in a manner that leads us all to our fullest potential. And because of this foundation, I wanted to share a few of my thoughts.

The core beliefs that I have espoused since the founding of TSLL involve a high regard for women’s rights over their lives and their bodies, and for me to not speak during a time of questioning and doubt that many of you have expressed may appear to show disinterest on my part and that is profoundly not the case.

Those who visit TSLL share varying beliefs and prioritize their values in their own unique way and that is something to champion. To feel safe in a world that values each of us begins when we value and respect ourselves, and then go forward remembering our own worth and the worth of every human being. Because we are all so very worthy.

Today may involve feelings of speechlessness, unidentifiable emotions and uncertainty, but I want to begin by offering you comfort. Today is a moment. A significant moment. A moment to cause introspection. A moment to ask what more can I do? A moment to ask, how do we move forward successfully? But it is a moment. An opportunity. Our job, each of our jobs, is to take this opportunity and do something we are proud of with it.

Next, I want to then remind you of the strength you possess within yourself. And while some challenges that life presents may seem impossible or nebulous before they are broached, receive this instance of quandary as an opportunity to congregate, to find a clear and coherent voice and to gain a thorough understanding. John Stuart Mill in 1859 wrote, “He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that.”

This is not the time to fall prey to our darkest fears, but rather a time to build strength and rebound. Voices are heard when they are spoken to an audience that is ready and in need of hearing what is being shared.  So hone your voice, deepen your message, reach across the lines of division (both those who are crestfallen and mirthful) and help to reduce the dogmatism that appears so prevalent. You have a voice, use it wisely and with kindness to model the world you wish to live in. Because when you begin to do this in your own life, you model that it is indeed possible for others to begin to trust that they too can rise to a higher and better life for themselves and those they love.

Be well and be strong.

xo Shannon

51 thoughts on “Thoughts on The Election

  1. Lovely, especially those last two sentences. Thank you for this. I would love to listen to you dive deeper into this topic in a podcast!

  2. Wellness and strength are needed now and always. My hope is that everyone is moved to action and divisions will lessen, as they provide no benefit to anyone. Thank you for speaking your truth and allowing others a civil spot for their input.

  3. Thank you for this Shannon! I read your blog daily, but I have never commented. As a teacher myself, I want to provide a message of hope to my students despite the presidential outcome. Voices like this are so important as we make this possibly difficult transition.

  4. Don’t forget he lost the popular vote, 59,680,035 votes (47.7%) for Clinton to 59,479,278 votes (47.5%) for the other one.
    I’m from a red state. I know Trump supporters. They want to crush the opposition–minorities, women, non-Christians, gays, and everybody “foreign.” Nuke ’em. What would Bruce Willis do? Or John Wayne? There is no room for conversation or discussion. There is just waiting for the economic crash and/or war, while they lose their jobs even faster and pay even more taxes and finally, like everybody who has had dealings with Trump, realize they’ve been conned.
    That’s the worst part–the nation has cut off its nose to spite its face.

    1. I don’t know your friend group, but the people who voted Trump that I know are nothing like that. Most of them, when I asked why, said they didn’t really care for Trump but felt they had no choice – really, they were voting against Hillary – because of her lies and corruption. (I don’t think most of them supported Trump in the primaries)

  5. Very well put, Shannon. I’m worried about the direction we are heading in regards to women’s rights and minorities. I hope our voices arent muffled. I will take this as a lesson and become even more proactive in my community. Being kind of always a good place to start.

  6. Awful things can be said of both sides. This has been the nastiest election campaign on both sides. There has been much to hate on both sides. And now many understand how many of us felt 8 years ago and again 4 years ago. And unfortunately we were proven correct in so much of the damage done in the past 8 years against basic American tenets. If you voted, you did good, no matter who won. One man is not going to destroy America. If that were true, it would have been destroyed years ago. I believe you said this beautifully, though.

      1. Absentee ballots, 67% of which are historically Republican, are not counted in states where they number less than the state margin of difference and would therefore not change the result. That means it cannot be said with certainty, or even likelihood, that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.

  7. I think the country is ready for a change and did not want more of the same with Hillary. The people have voted and the votes clearly supported Trump.

  8. Dear Shannon,

    I am a Trump supporter. I have eagerly visited your blog for inspiration daily for over a year now to be a better person and to improve the quality of my life and that of others around me. But as what is becoming usual, a non-political entity has again made itself political. Why? While fellow democratic compatriots agree with your sentiments, I now feel entirely alienated. I need a respite from politics and am looking to you, only to find the same political dissent as you’re sympathetic to Hilary Clinton. The options for non-political discourse are growing smaller by the day. To retain any future viewers, it is best to remain politically neutral, or at least comment on the emotions of the electorate of both sides, because I clearly see I no longer fit in to your model of the embodiment of prudence.

    1. Hi, Laura–so you won’t read anything that is different from what you personally believe? That is the very definition of close-minded. If you would truly like to be a better person, that’s something you might want to reflect on . . .

      1. Kim- precisely the opposite. The large majority of what I read and watch is usually different from what I personally believe. That’s my point.

    2. Laura, I respectfully disagree with you. You yourself beautifully stated that you visit this blog to “be a better person and to improve the quality of life and that of others around me.” As a disabled woman, our new president elect has made clear what he thinks about me and others like me with his mocking of a person with cerebral palsy. He has also made abundantly clear what he thinks of women in general with his comments suggesting assault as well as numerous other derogatory remarks. Therefore, I am not only concerned about the quality of my own life, but I fear for others around me- those that the president elect repeatedly marginalized and insulted. Shannon, I think you would have been remiss NOT to have spoken out on a blog that addresses the quality of life. Thank you for having the courage to do so!

  9. Thank you Shannon for speaking your thoughts even though you may have alienated readers. I believe you practice what your mission states on TSLL. You have spoken with wisdom, understanding and encouragement to all women. May you continue to encourage us all. I applaud you.

  10. I feel like this election was brutal for all women, no matter who they voted for or didn’t vote for. Lets end the negative comments and work on supporting each other with respect and kindness. We may have different ideas, but we are all sisters. Thank you, Shannon for your healing words. Keep up your good work!

  11. Condolences from Australia – the ripple effect is huge. My thoughts are with you now and over the next four years. Gaby

  12. As an australian I have watched and read with interest the American election campaign .
    I have been unable to get any clarification on Hilary ‘s so called lies and corruption .
    If people are referring to whitewater wasn’t that cleared up years ago and the clintons had no case to answer ? ( it all seemed a bit of beat up at the time and pretty minor compared to trumps business history )
    So would be most interested to know

  13. In every election there will be a winner and a losing candidate. That is the beauty of living in a democracy and having the right to vote. The right to vote, however, comes with a responsibility of learning how to lose graciously. As a teacher, if there had been a student government election, would you not have wanted to teach the students that had been supporting the candidate that lost the election, to accept the results of the election and to stop harboring resentment against the newly elected student? Once an election has been decided, it is imperative that our great nation come together and support the President-elect in his endeavors to bring this country to its greatest potential. I believe we need to learn and teach younger generations, that a democracy works best when we do not perpetuate hatred after an election, but embrace the future, be open to the possibilities that a new president will offer, and not impede his progress. As a teacher, I would be interested in your thoughts.

    1. Denise, the conversation starts before so the process isn’t as confusing. Then the day after is more of letting the students reveal what they need. Do they have questions about the process, the outcome, how a democracy transitions power, checks and balances and how that works. And highlight the positives: gracious concession speeches, shifts in tone that welcome an opportunity to listen to all, as well as drawing parallels to history and what was learned about people, our country and the democratic process, etc.

  14. Thank you for your comforting words. Being a woman who belongs to a minority the coming 4 years are looking terrifying. We need to move forward with love and hope, and be a light in our communities to overcome the hate that has been spread over the campaign.

  15. I am a Trump supporter. I would have posted something earlier but as a small business owner, I had to finish signing eighteen paychecks. Women in America have it better than anywhere in the world – don’t forget it. We can either demand respect or command respect. Think about it.

    1. This isn’t about how good we have it–it’s about choosing a candidate who calls women by animal names, score them on their looks, and grabs and touches them without their permission (a crime). If we command or demand respect, we turn our backs on men like Trump.

  16. Dear Shannon

    I imagine today’s post regarding the election was a difficult one. Should it be written? Posted? Which words to use to convey the precise message? To me your words were spot-on and the message warm and encouraging. Once again, I applaud your thoughtful writing and courage to hit “publish.”

    I also applaud the community here at TSLL for the civility in its discourse. Regardless of who or what we voted for or against, I genuinely believe that we can achieve anything in our lives, homes and country through consistently seeking understanding, demonstrating respect for our differences and diligently finding common-ground. We have far more in common than not.

    Take care and take heart.

  17. Thank you for your well thought out post. It was an undoubtably polarizing event from the beginning, half the country is rejoicing, the other half feels at a loss. Those of us who feel wronged need to find solace in action. Productive action such as learning more about politics, supporting what we believe in regardless of whether our chosen candidate is in office or not. We as a country need to move on in the best ways we know how. You are always a class act! Much love.

  18. Well done, Shannon, for the courage it takes to post honestly. Trump supporters are gleeful and Hillary people despondent. What we must try to do is understand why each side feels as strongly as it does and make sense of it. I have never felt this despondent over the outcome of an election and am trying to understand my feelings. I did not feel like this when Bush won and can’t imagine being as down if Romney or McCain had occupied the office. If we don’t figure it out, we will never unite as a nation. And that is what I fear.

  19. Among the things I have read, yours is the most unifying. I wish everybody’s attitude is like yours. Positive and non-polarizing. God Bless you and your blog!

  20. How is it democratic when one candidate wins the popular vote and the other the electoral college this is the second time it’s happened in recent history , its not supposed to work that way, how is it democratic when one candidate is held accountable for ” lies “and the other is not. This person won with the support of less than 1/4 the population of the USA, how is that democratic? It is time to question this supposed democracy , that’s what we are supposed to do as good citizens, that is why the constitution can be amended the founding members new that democracy is a living breathing imperfect thing, it is our civic responsibilty to ensure that our democracy is working and if not change it.
    This is on all of us.

    1. Re: how is that democratic?
      (And your numbers)

      Approximately 235,248,000 people in USA (source: UCSB) are of voting age and approximately 120,000,000 million people voted in the election.

      What do you propose to make it more fair? We have option to vote many ways, yet half of the voting population did not excersize their right to vote.

      1. The voting process is readily available to all voters. Each citizen has both the right and the opportunity to vote. That is fair. A citizen who chooses not to exercise their right to vote does not partake in the advantage of living in a democracy. That is fair. They chose not to use the process.

        1. Trump won Wisconsin by 27,000 votes, yet 300,000 voters were turned away by their strict Voter ID law, which was designed to functionally disenfranchise people. One electoral vote in Wisconsin is worth 362 percent of one Californian vote, due to the outdated electoral college scheme. The process is broken and we are going to fix it so we indeed have fairness for all Americans.

  21. The choices on the ballot this time were awful. I did not vote for Hillary, but was not happy about voting for Trump. Now I’m being lumped by many anti-trump people into a group of people called deplorable and anti-everyone except people like me. Not so and far from it.

    I am encouraged by your blog post, saddened by some of the comments, but remain hopeful that our country can come together in a productive and civil manner.

    People evolve, learn and change from their mistakes and from open dialog with each other. I pray that for Donald Trump and for him to be inclusive and represent us all equally. I would have prayed the same for Hillary had she been the president-elect. Since the election results, Mr. Trump’s words have been very inclusive and encouraging. Let’s listen and hear what he has to say now.

    I hope that the people who are upset about the results will have open mind and not keep bringing up past words. We have to go forward with what we have now. Open dialog and civil discussions about what is best for our world and all its citizens are topics we need to focus on now.

    I’m thankful I’m not in public spotlight where people can continually bring up past words and recordings from me. I am growing and am not the same person I was 6 months ago let alone years ago. I’m constantly out of my comfort zone learning and evolving. We all are.

  22. You have pointed out the negative of Trump. However, you have remained silent about Hillary’s flaws. the email scandal, Benghazi, jump to my mind. Hillary would have been the first woman president, but as a mother of a daughter, I do not believe she represented the values in her personal actions that I would want my daughter to emulate.

  23. I discovered TSLL about a year and a half ago. Your posts have been very inspirational for me. I look forward to reading them each morning with my cup of tea, before I start getting ready for work. Although I am not agreeing with your point of view on the election, I believe that a lively debate and exchange of ideas is a good thing. I will continue to read your posts as I strive to live my Simply luxurious life.

    1. Thank you for stopping by and joining the conversation. The gift we give ourselves when we live thoughtfully and consciously is that we curate a unique way of living that aligns with our values, dreams and priorities. The journey will be different for each of us, and I appreciate your recognition of this truth. I hope you have a lovely weekend. 🙂

  24. Thank you for posting. I feel that your words are very thoughtful and encourage healing. There is much healing that needs to be done in our country. As citizens of the United States of America, it is our responsibility to accept the President-Elect and give him the opportunity to govern, as Hilary Clinton graciously instructed in her concession speech. But, as a parent of teenagers who have been watching this election, it is very difficult. The things that President-Elect Donald Trump said and the manner in which he behaved himself throughout the Republican primaries and the Presidential election are the antithesis of how we have taught our children to behave. So, it is hard to explain to them. To be fair, both candidates had flaws. We all have flaws and all make mistakes. But, I sincerely hope and pray that our future President will come to realize the tremendous job before him to unite this country – all the people in this country – and that he will conduct himself with grace, dignity and respect for all. This has been a difficult election season and I know that many of us would like tune out and just brush things under the rug and move on to other things. It is important that we move forward, but I hope that we continue the discourse about the issues facing our country. By talking to each other and listening to each other, I hope that we will be able to reach across the divide and move forward together.

    1. Jackie, Thank you for your very thoughtful comment. We must model what we wish to see more of – graciousness in defeat, support and respect of all people even those we do not agree with and a determination to work together and not isolate ourselves or shut out the world. Thank you again.

  25. Correct ,50 % did not vote and of the 50 % that did, less than 1/2 chose Mr. Trump and less than 1/2 Secratary Clinton ( with her winning the popular vote) so only 1/4 of the whole chose Mr. Trump, basically they both lost, Fair enough, those who did not vote have given up thier right, but in moving forward how do you govern when you have no idea what 50 % of the people wanted with a mandate from only 1/4.How are we to come together? I think we can do better, there are many ideas on how to do this( to long to elaborate now) voter apathy is a serious issue as the numbers tell. If we are to heal perhaps we could start there? With the future at stake why did 50% of us choose not to vote? Both candidates asked for greater turnout.

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