There are a lot of people going around today (and certainly in many days to come) who are talking about individuals in terms of the groups to which they may or may not belong and identifying motives for behavior based on their belonging to these groups.
I have heard a lot of talk about what Millennials think and what they value and find important in a national election, I have heard talk about white men, white women, black men, black women, Muslims, Asians, college-educated men and women, city-dwellers, suburbanites, people living in rural areas, etc. The list goes on and on as all of these political pundits, who for months and years have had election speculation to fill their time must now find something to talk about, so they will begin analyzing data and numbers and grouping people together based on some shared characteristic.
People are individuals, though. They may share some commonalities with others who share some characteristics, but people are individuals, and their reasons for thinking and acting are their own.
It is also very hard to have someone else look at you, assign you to some arbitrary demographic group, and proceed to tell you how you are feeling, how you think about certain things, and what you should or should not be doing.
You don’t have to let anyone else tell you how you are supposed to be feeling. You don’t have to let anyone else tell you what you should be thinking. It is okay to feel what you’re feeling. It is okay to think what you want. It is okay to have voted according to your conscience.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, or anxious, or nervous, or scared, or upset, or confused, or if you are grieving, that is okay. It is okay to have feelings. But, if you need to talk to someone about your feelings, that is okay, too. It is okay to need help, to need guidance, to need a shoulder to lean on, a hand to hold. It is okay to need a trained professional or just a friend.
I lost my brother last November to suicide. No one saw it coming, there were no warning signs, he did not talk to any one about what was going on inside his head. He, for whatever reason, decided he could no longer live the way he was and made a decision, however briefly, to end his life. And that has caused many hours of doubt, confusion, anger, grief, pain, heartache and loss for his family and friends. At his memorial service the chapel was absolutely filled with friends and acquaintances and family (whether biological or not.) There were very few empty seats. I have often wondered if he would have done what he did if he could have seen just how many people cared about him and were affected by his life.
You matter. You are important. You are loved.
If you don’t feel that right now, please believe it to be true. If you need to reach out to ask for help (though that is incredibly frightening) please have the courage to do so. I want to help, if I can.
And if you are not feeling this way at all, if your life is doing great today, if you have enough and to spare in your life please look around for those who do not. Be there for them. Share what you have in abundance with those who need. Together we can get through this life. That is the way it was meant to be. It is not good for man to be alone.