Time to come together

By Sergio Perez (TheLorian)

The election is behind us and at the moment of this writing, we don’t know who has been given the collective approval of the citizens of the United States as to who will lead for the next four years.

What I do know is that we are tired, we are ALL tired.

We have good reason to be tired, too. We saw our country’s struggle with racism see unprecedented nastiness, we’ve seen a pandemic prevent us from spending time together in community as we’ve been accustomed to, we’ve seen ourselves distrust individuals based off massive assumptions. All of us in some way shape or form, whether realized or not, has sought to escape the reality of our times recently.

Some of us escape to find comfort by lighting a flame to a vela of San Judas Tadeo (St. Jude) as my mother does anytime she needs courage to tackle the challenge of the day. Others might need to disconnect from social media, friends, and even family to gather their peace in order. All of us will partake in whatever necessary activity we need to do to keep going despite all of the exhaustive stimuli of the election.

And despite the exhaustion we must learn to open our hearts with a renewed dose of cultural humility. We must ensure our hearts and our minds is other-oriented, we must seek to understand others while keeping at our core the understanding that we will never know everything there is to know. We must unite and collectively reject rhetoric, lies, stereotypes, and actions that divide versus build us up.

We must ask ourselves if the beliefs we’ve had and shared in recent days: did they bring people of all backgrounds together? Do the words we used when speaking to individuals who don’t agree with us bring us closer? Does the love I hold for others contain a love that is inclusive and without conditions? Do my actions align with my values (especially if we value being welcoming and loving)?

Coretta Scott King stated, “Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.” We cannot continue as a country behaving the same way we have in recent years. We must understand that we are this country, you and I, not someone else, I mean we, as Duhawks make up this country. We must collectively reject hate, and forcefully reject hate disguised as love to mold ourselves and those who come after us as better witnesses to love. We must relearn love.

We also must be willing to heal wounds created in recent years. Often in the midst of political pressure, we’ve fallen and participated in nasty exchanges dishonoring the innate human dignity we all have. Some of us are marginalized for simply demanding a higher quality of life. We’ve all witnessed the harm white supremacy and dominator culture has had and some of us perhaps even participated in it in more than a complicit capacity. Yet- despite the real violence, we must acknowledge pain and heal to move forward. Feminist thinker Bell Hooks wrote, For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked, how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed?” I think this is a critical question if we are to strip ourselves of this election exhaustion and move forward. We must make interpersonal reparations and move together with a clear conscious.

As we attempt to come together after this election, I hope you join in this moment to find your peace, to make peace, and to sustain peace that honors the dignity of all.

Vamos Duhawks!

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