Two-minute thoughts on what Trump means for you!
After a quick mental scan of my 50 to 60 friends who live in the US, I could not pinpoint a single person who would have voted for Trump, and I know many of them are devastated by the results of today’s US Presidentials. But while I am sorry that some of them have had big hopes vanish, on a personal level I am sort of neutral on this result. As a man from and living in the Middle East, I am certainly no fan of Hillary Clinton and frankly could care less that a woman becomes President in the US…Women have become leaders in many other places in the world, and her gender alone is not a big enough deal to warrant supporting her. That’s not to say I am happy Trump won..just neutral and more in a wait-and-see mode, while at the same time enjoying the shock to the system, as I enjoy shocks to any system.
But neutrality about the results does not entail not taking a moment to think what these results mean on a macro level, and I mean on a humanity level. In a recent blog post on Mother Teresa, I wrote that “Turmoil and half-truths and doubt will become the norm, and very few things if anything will continue to be held as absolute truths. Even God is increasingly being questioned….They say we will be in a better place once we have passed the pain and disasters that accompany change, and that it is for the good of humanity in the long term…But in the meantime, what to do? Where to find refuge and anchor to help us weather this storm of change and its accompanying anxiety? Take cover people, and find shelter in your small communities, and in the small heroes, not the big ones, that are all around us.”
Following Trump’s victory today, the not so distant Brexit vote, the rise of the “right” again in Europe, religious extremism, and various neo-Facist regimes and thinking around the world particularly in our wretched region, I think there is no doubt that we are entering into an age governed by fear, retreat, and barriers. Regardless of whether we are optimists and think we are experiencing difficult change but towards a brighter future, or pessimists who think we are doomed, we must somehow accommodate on the personal level to this current situation.
My opinion is we accommodate best by taking notice of the current trends, protecting ourselves, while still fighting back. What that means to me is that, as I mentioned in earlier posts like the one quoted above, we must find shelter and strength in small communities that share the same values. To make this life and these times tolerable, we must consciously think of who are the right people we want to surround ourselves with- our own little retreat group. But at the same time, having found this shelter and anchor point, we must not allow ourselves to build solid walls. We must continuously strive to build bridges to other groups: bridges of support, of exchange, of compassion, of solidarity. Whatever that means to you personally is up to you to decide, unless you are happy just taking things as they come and drifting.