"You will regret many things in life but you will never regret being too kind or too fair."
Over the past few weeks, the political climate in the United States has been particularly emotionally charged. On Friday, our 45th president, Donald Trump, one of the most polarizing figures in history, was inaugurated.
President Trump's administration brings the promise of "hope and change," but his extreme personality which has been the target of criticism for his narcissism and lack of moral character, especially his hateful rhetoric and insults towards individuals, groups, ethnicities, religions, and others during his presidential campaign is cultivating anger, fear and confusion.
In the past months there have been heated political debates, endless social media opinion posts, protests, and marches. All of this seems to be cultivating a culture of division and uncertainty, yet is evidence of our privileges of living in a democratic country, which constitutionally allows for our freedom of speech.
Putting aside all political views, my heart is saddened by the reactions of people who are being unkind. Unfortunately we are witness to this with our new U.S. president who is in a high position of power. But we see it in so many other forms as well, and at so many different levels. So many overlook the responsibilities that come with our freedoms, whether it is on social media, in our communities, workplaces or even families.
As with anything, there is hope with the more positive reactions and peaceful responses, but unfortunately it is the negativity that gets much of the attention. We are seeing so many examples of adults being bullies and it is sending a confusing message to our children. It's hard to know how to handle this as a parent.
So what can we do?
Personally - I would not describe myself as an activist. I was not drawn to participate in any of the protests, marches or even to voice a strong opinion about the election on any of my social media outlets, but I am drawn to be an example of goodness that can prevail in our society.
I am working hard not to react to all of the negativity, but instead I am taking action to be extra thoughtful and intentional with my words, choices and actions. I am choosing to teach and model fairness, respect, hope and determination to my children by being kind, good and ethical.
I feel in the weeks to come - as families, as mothers and as individuals in our politically divided country - we can be a force for positive change working from the ground up taking action each day to model love, acceptance, kindness and responsibility.
As our nation is divided between despair and hope, I am choosing hope and taking action to spread love, light, and kindness. I will not waver in my efforts, no matter how small to contribute toward the common good of all by being the best mother I can be to my children.
Photo Credit: Thomas8047