I’m trying something new. I have been doing the Weekly Coffee Share for a while, but several of the people whom I consider to be my online friends do a weekly smile or gratitude post. I know the wonderful lady over at Daisy Smiley Face (who did the Weekly Rewind for a bit) invented the word “gratitudinous” for hers, and Trent does the Weekly Smile (click the link for the list of rules).
I figure I might as well add my own little cup of sunshine into the mix!
But… this one is a little too political to join the link-up, I think. The end result is still a positive message, but the rules very specifically state no politics, and while the politics were just the vehicle to get me to the event that made me smile, I want to honor the rules… so this is my own little something to smile about, but not part of the link-up.
If you read this past weekend’s Coffee Share, then you know that I voted already. It was a busy day, and there were several things about the day that made me smile, but I want to focus on the voting…
First of all, it was unplanned, as I’ve said, and the way I found out about it was through this couple who were both getting their nails done at the same time I was. The husband was getting a Santa Claus and snowman painted on his big toes to get in full Christmas mode… even though Halloween hasn’t even happened yet. The wife was getting a turkey for Thanksgiving.
Me? I went with the cobwebs, so, as the guy pointed out, we had the next 3 major holidays covered between us.
That by itself was enough reason to smile, but then they helped me to realize that I could vote that day, and the smiles just kept coming.
Now, for anyone who has been keeping up with the political situation in the United States, things are… tense. I don’t care which side of the political aisle you are on, we as a nation are more divided than we’ve been since the Civil War in the mid to late 1800’s.
When I went to vote, on a Saturday, at dinner time, the polling place was packed! The current unrest has motivated a nation that was on the verge of apathy into taking action, and that is decidedly heartening!
It wasn’t exactly perfect, however.
When I arrived, some woman asked me if I wanted to meet my representative, and, out of curiosity, I said, “sure.”
The woman who then came to speak to me was busy looking at her brochures, trying to organize them while she talked. She had brochures for her daughter and for herself, and she was trying to make sure she was showing me the correct brochure for her speech… but in so doing, she hadn’t actually looked at me. She shook my hand, but I don’t think she’d actually looked at my face. Or she was so involved with her speech that she didn’t realize to whom she was speaking… as in, to what type of person… as in not her usual demographic.
I say this because, in the middle of her spiel, she was telling me about how one of her goals (if re-elected) was to close the borders, and in the middle of the word “border,” she looked up and just about choked when she realized that I was a person of color, a racially ambiguous person of color at that. She quickly added that she wanted to make sure that I understood she only wanted to close the borders so people could come in the right way…
As wrong as it would have been to laugh in her face, it did make me chuckle a little bit, and at the risk of further breaking the rules, I’ll explain why: It illustrates what the problem has become in our current political climate, and her tripping over herself after realizing her mistake did give me a little jolt of vengeful joy.
Some (not all) of the Republicans have done their best to divide this country to move their agenda forward, and all their efforts may have very well had the opposite effect.
I do not want to celebrate the pain that has come from the rhetoric of a handful of small-minded people, but I will celebrate the empowerment I see happening as large groups of people who have previously felt like they had no voice are suddenly motivated to take action.
Of course, today, a couple days later, the negative rhetoric has started again. It’s all over Twitter at the moment… but, hopefully, even this newest bout of craziness from Trump will have the opposite effect as well.
I think if we can keep up the momentum and continue to get the disenfranchised to vote, it will lead to a healing this country has long needed, and that hope makes me smile all the way down to my soul. Thus it is my smile for the week… even if it doesn’t qualify to be part of the link-up.
Next week, I hope to be able to fully join Trent’s Weekly Smile. In the meantime, I hope we can all find a little something to smile about this week!