For starters, I am not thrilled about the way this election played out. I would not have been thrilled if it had gone the other way. I couldn't vote for either of the candidates in good conscience, for a variety of reasons that, frankly, are completely irrelevant now, as the future looms in front of us.
Elections, particularly those of a presidential nature, bring out the worst in everybody.
"Everybody is entitled to their own opinion," we say, with a muttered "but your's is wrong and I'm right" following closely behind it.
Insults are thrown left and right in an attempt to "agree to disagree" and "explore the other side!"
Here's the thing.
Anger-fueled remarks are less than likely to convince somebody to see things your way.
Removing people from your social media feed because you don't agree with them makes you as closed to their viewpoints as you accuse them of being to yours.
To those of you that are "scared," this is not the first time a leader who doesn't support your personal beliefs has been elected, and it certainly won't be the last.
To those of you that are "angry," you can't win them all. If you were happy with election results all of the time, someone would feel like you do all of the time. Think about it.
To those of you wondering "how will I teach my kids about hatred, racism, bigotry, after this election," you should do it as you would if things had gone differently. You have a more direct influence over your children than anyone in the White House will--so change your house.
To those of you that are "ashamed," you should be, of yourselves. Yes, this was an ugly race, and (at least in my eyes) neither of the candidates were good options--but that should not make you ashamed to be an American. Just because you don't agree with something does not make it shameful. Our country was built on innovation, progress, and change--and this presidential term will be a continuation of those. Change is not easy. It's not comfortable. And it's not something we agree with all of the time. But your reaction to this change says more about you than it does about the change itself.
The President of the United States does not have any easy job, and that's without factoring in the reality that half of the country, and maybe more, hates them and everything they stand for.
You may not agree with who is in office, but the office deserves your respect, as long as you are an American citizen enjoying the freedoms and liberties that come along with it.
I may not be thrilled with the way things turned out--but I am grateful I have the ability to speak my frustrations, enact change, and live how I wish...and I'm still proud to be an American.