One of the things about Mr. Trump’s election is how it has opened my mind to how many people felt left out, unattended to, lost, and voiceless in my country. Had he not come along, I’m not sure I, or others, would have recognized the anger and pain this many of our fellow citizens were holding.
In other words, I got it. I got what was going on that I hadn’t gotten before.
I understood and had an empathetic response. People were hurting and, for whatever reason, right or wrong, better or worse, they thought/hoped/wished and dreamed that Mr. Trump had finally gotten them too.
Whether he does or not remains to be seen, but my point here doesn’t have anything to do with Mr. Trump. It has to do with getting the other guy. Better said, it has to do with empathy, that great big wonderful feeling, and perspective that allows us to understand our brothers and sisters and what makes them our brothers and sisters in the first place.
Empathizing with others is what helps us listen to each other, it’s what brings us to the table with an open mind and takes us to the neighbor’s front door with an open heart. It’s why we want to let refugees in out of the cold, why we want to allow people who love each other get married no matter what gender they are and why we give money to the homeless shelter. It is why we do anything that motivates us to “love our brother as we love ourselves.”
Empathy is truly magic.
I’ve seen lots and lots of negative comments about the Women’s March on January 21st.
“It was pointless.”
“It won’t do any good.”
“Just a bunch of angry women.
I even read a blistering commentary on the March from Katie Hopkins stating that “having a vagina is biology, not politics.”
Whether any of these statements are true or not doesn’t matter.
What does matter is all the people who marched in more than 60 countries on January 21st, 2017 were asking for the same thing that all the people who voted for Mr. Trump were asking.
“Somebody to please listen what they have been trying to say—not only today but for hundreds of years.”
What they are asking for is empathy.
Imagine for a moment what it would be like if you empathized with one of them. I am not asking you to do this for each person’s particular reason for marching but with the fact, many people —- millions and millions of people — felt something big enough and bad enough to get them out of bed. They put a silly pink hat on and carried a sign until their arms ached while they marched with other like-minded people.
No matter that you think having a vagina is biology, not politics, no matter what you think that is not supportive of the March. No matter what Tweet you can come up with in hopes of it going viral. What if instead of being clever and of writing intelligent slogan-ish headlines, you empathized with the fact that all those people marched?
What if you let the thought and the feeling inside, “That many people can’t be all wrong or all bad or all stupid.”
And what if the marchers said and thoughts the same thing about you and about all those who voted for Mr. Trump?
What if we all empathized with each other?
If we did, something magic would happen. So magically in fact, that it could build a world big enough for all of Mr. Trump’s followers and all of the people in the Women’s March combined—with room left for more.
Want to do something magic?
Author: Carmelene Melanie Siani
Bio: Carmelene Melanie Siani is a 75 year old woman who began writing for publication on her 73rd birthday in 2015. She writes stories and vignettes about life and how life itself gives us the lessons, hopes and directions we need to put our feet on higher ground. You can find her writing at www.elephantjournal, kindnessblog.com, betterafter50.com, thetattooedbuddha.com and on her Facebook Writer’s Page, Storybelly.