America is nothing if not resilient. That’s important to remember today as you celebrate or mourn the results of the presidential election.
This has been, without question, the most polarizing presidential election in history, one in which the two very high profile candidates were armed with an incredible amount of negative cannon fodder. This is one of the few elections I can remember when many people who voted for the winner will wake up afraid and unhappy.
As a result, President-elect Donald Trump faces some huge challenges when it comes to building widespread trust and moving our great nation on a peaceful, prosperous path forward. Trust broken is not easily restored. It gives rise to what I call “shadow cultures” – the cultures that hide in the darkness and operate counter to what everyone publicly acknowledges is right. Learning to listen to each other – and truly what they mean and what they need – is how we’ll work against building a shadow nation.
It can be easy to think we’re in for trouble, that divisive politics finally will bring us down. But this nation’s heart beats with the strong character of her people, and that’s always been enough to overcome even the worst political winds.
We will face challenges in the coming years, and some of them will result from clashing political forces. But our biggest challenge is much closer to home – it’s the challenge to lead with integrity, to lead transparently, and to be positively influential in the lives of others … to model with our servant leadership what we would like to see in our president and our state and national representatives.
If we take care of our part, collectively we’ll create a tide that lifts everyone around us. This is what America has always done. The land of the free and the home of the brave isn’t nirvana, but there’s no country more suited to overcome whatever challenges she faces.