Written by Katya Beebe
Much of the world is in shock this week. The US presidential elections on Tuesday resulted in a President-elect Donald Trump on track to becoming the 45th president of the United States.
This election showed that America is deeply divided. CARP’s founders, Father and Mother Moon, often emphasized the importance of unity in a nation, particularly in times of crises. President Obama, Secretary Clinton, the media, and many others now recognize the need to move forward in unity and in support for one another.
It’s tempting to look at this election as black and white; however people, issues, and governments are more complex than that.
Here are a three things you can do to digest the election outcome in a healthy and empowering way.
1. Practice intuitive listening
This election has been an exhausting and bruising election for many. Sentiments of betrayal, hatred, and fear from both candidates were real for many. At CARP, we understand the value of listening as a powerful tool for healing.
By focusing our efforts on other people, in listening to their thoughts and feelings at this time, we can build even stronger relationships in our families and communities especially since these are the most intimate and immediate places for support in times of crises. Be aware of the people around you and recognize that someone might need to be heard.
You can lend a valuable ear to others right now and choose to care for them. Instead of prolonging the debate, think of people’s hearts, emotions, and situations. Listen with the intention to understand people’s decision-making process and help people to heal and move forward with positivity and hope.
2. Read, think, challenge, and hear opposing views
We can attribute the surprising result of this election to an overwhelming underestimation of the differing worldviews in this country. This happens when we don’t interact with the people who may think differently from us. CARP facilitates and encourages conversations that matter where we can listen and understand each other.
Have a conversation with all kinds of voters (Republican, Democratic, and Third Party). Read a diverse set of news and analysis articles to understand both sides of the argument. You might find a wealth of knowledge and understanding of another perspective far more dynamic than the media or like-minded people might contend.
Equipping ourselves with a good understanding of opposing views prepares us to see the whole picture. This country is a melting pot of worldviews, perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences. The world is even more diverse. To truly become a global citizen, we need to be accurately and holistically informed so we do not misunderstand or under-represent the real thoughts and experiences of various communities, societies, and nations.
3. Look for ways to love and contribute, not blame
We are more than who we voted for. We are more than our worldview. One Unification Principle, each person is a valuable part of humanity, reminds us that our fundamental value is unchanging and eternal regardless of our choices and outlooks in life. Practice loving your enemy as set by the example of Jesus and Father and Mother Moon. Many leaders led the way by loving their enemies even in the face of verbal degradation, imprisonment, and death.
Remember that your brother, sister, father, mother, neighbor, friend, or faraway stranger is more complex than our simplified explanations and justifications. Remember that the federal government is just one facet of society; we also have local governments, private enterprises, non-profits, and charities that are working to solve problems in our communities, nation, and world.
Here are a few ways you can exercise your rights (beyond voting) and contribute:
- Sign up for email alerts about causes you care about so you can be informed and take action
- Volunteer or donate to organizations, charities, or causes you care about (you can even donate with no money by taking surveys that contribute to charity)
- Engage with your state’s congressmen and -women, Senate representatives, and other delegates by getting to know who they are (via state/county/town government websites) and attend local community events
- Sign petitions to get causes you care about considered for legislation
Global Citizens who Lead Constructively
In his speech, The Way of God’s Will, Father Moon explains that “unity is realized when you share joy and sadness with others” and “those who are hopeful are always constructive.” These three steps provide an avenue by which we can share our joy or our sadness at this time. With hope as our prerogative, we create peace, unity, and collaboration for a better future.
CARP is all about empowering students (in college and in life) to become global citizens who lead constructively with an understanding of Unification Principles. Take some time to understand this election and this country. Be a beacon of hope for yourself and others by moving forward in pursuit of unity.