Election 2016: We Blew It

We could have done so much better. How many times do we wish we could turn back the clock, start over and get it right. But, as they say, words are like toothpaste squeezed out of the tube -- once they are out in the universe, we can't get them back in.

There were terrible words, lots of them. Insults and lies -- lots of them too. 

At first, it was funny, especially for those of us who were paying attention to different conversations. It was like two drunks arguing about the best quarterback of all time in a parking lot down the street - a silly and harmless diversion that makes you wonder how they'll feel in the morning.

But it continued and got worse. I don't know why we didn't shut it down, or at least shut it off. Why we didn't we stop listening, stop responding, stop posting and even more, stop talking about it -- while our kids watched and listened.

Yes, there was an effective ad with kids watching Trump saying miserable things. Effective, because no one wants their kid hearing those words. Yet, we were worse. We talked about it, some of us endlessly. How do I know? Because I've been working with kids for the last six weeks who don't want to talk about anything else. High school, middle school, elementary -- all of them -- demonizing, belittling, and reveling in the fact that no one is getting in trouble. 

There's no putting the toothpaste back in the tube. So what do we do? We do what we do best. We remember who we are -- at least who we are called to be. 

We confess. We talk about how much we blew it. We apologize to each other, to our kids to ourselves. Then we remember. We remember how we hoped that people with all kinds of backgrounds, viewpoints and cultures and experiences would come together to resolve problems. We remember how we hoped we would hear each other and come to know each other. Then, we need to try to do it - excessively. We need to show our kids what it looks like to discuss and listen.


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