Soap Box Derby

I voted early.

I’m glad I did, because from everything I saw, the lines on Tuesday were horrendous. And I don’t like waiting in line. Unless it’s for the after-Christmas clearance sale at Macy’s, because then I have an armload of designer sweaters and purses I couldn’t otherwise afford, and that makes me happy.

But waiting in line to vote? Not so much.

Before I cast my vote for POTUS, I felt sick. Nauseous and tight all over. After I voted, I went home and cried, because I didn’t know if I’d made the right choice. But the next day, I felt so much better, because I knew.

I knew I’d done my best.

I knew I’d done my part.

And I knew it wasn’t all on my shoulders. Millions of others were doing the same thing, casting their votes, doing their best, doing their part to bring about positive change.

On election day, I didn’t even turn on the television until late. (It was after 9 pm, and for me, that might as well be midnight.) I was at peace, no matter the outcome. Because really, how much good will it do to not be at peace?

None. That’s how much.

For months, though, I’ve noticed people standing on all sorts of soapboxes, spouting all kinds of rhetoric. They’re passionate. They’re eloquent. (Well, some of them are.) But now the election’s over, and we have a bunch of empty soapboxes everywhere.

img_1261If you need a new soapbox, I highly recommend Yardley of London’s English Lavender soap. It smells heavenly, and it’s available at most drugstores for a reasonable price. The Oatmeal & Almond scent is also nice.

And if you’re tired of standing on those tiny little boxes, might I suggest adding some wheels and entering the official Soapbox Derby. Those things can go pretty fast, as long as the race is downhill. Uphill, not so much. You’ll need to acquire some help for that.

Many people think our country is going downhill fast, and they’re ready to jump off at the nearest exit. But I disagree. I think we have an uphill battle ahead of us, when it comes to uniting and rebuilding the broken trust between differing factions. But I think we all really, really want to win. I believe every one of us wants good things for our great nation. So uphill battle or not, I think we can win this thing.

That’s why we’ve gotta help each other. Rather than watching as our country zooms downhill only to crash into a light pole, why don’t we get behind each other? Push each other along, back to the top where we belong? There are several ways we can do this:

  1. Be kind. Kindness is almost always reciprocated.
  2. Be quiet. When I was teaching school, and my students weren’t listening, I’d lower my voice and speak in a whisper. Soon, they’d lean forward to listen. Speak softly, or don’t speak at all.
  3. Show compassion. That doesn’t mean we all have to agree. If someone has a broken arm, it doesn’t really matter how they got it. It still hurts. We would never intentionally slam their already hurting arm into a door . . . so what’s the point in slamming people’s broken hearts with sarcasm and snark? Show some human decency, and know that a lot of people are hurting.

I believe, if we’ll follow these three simple suggestions, we’ll be well on our way back to the top. Back to becoming a nation united instead of a country divided. We’ll get there if we choose to get there. And that means choosing love.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, outcry and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and tender-hearted to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you,” Ephesians 4:31-32.

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