Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Bridgework: Rebuilding the UNITED States

Today, liberals are celebrating because Barack Obama won the presidential election and many other seats went to liberal candidates. That means it's our responsibility to take care of the folks for whom the election did not produce satisfying results. Conservatives are feeling as crushed today as we would if John McCain had won. So, let's make an effort to look out for each other. Here are some things you can do to promote unity:

  • Be a graceful winner. Try not to gloat. If you must gloat, do it in private or in like-minded company, where it won't hurt anyone who feels differently.


  • Find something nice to say about the opposing party/candidate/ideals/etc. Remember that other people cherish their opinions as much as you cherish yours, and that praising good behavior increases the chance of repetition. If you can't think of anything, McCain's graceful concession speech is worth considering, in text or video.


  • Reach out to your conservative friends. They need friends right now. They need to remember that you are one of their friends. Do something with them; play a game, go shopping, watch a movie, work on a craft project, whatever works for you. Surprise them with chocolate, music, or another favorite treat.


  • If someone is burned out on politics, let the topic drop for a while. Don't pester them about it. Talk about something totally different that you both enjoy. This is especially helpful at family gatherings when people hold different political stances. It's also good for blogging: post a picture, a recipe, a poem, or some other charming content that has nothing to do with politics.


  • If someone needs to talk about what happened, be a good listener. Listening is a vital skill because it helps people feel better, it can enlighten you, and it improves your connections with other people.


  • Use familiar, homey aromas to foster a communal atmosphere. Scent communicates with the instinctive part of the brain, which is otherwise difficult to reach. For example, cook something that takes hours. A house redolent of food all day helps people feel loved and comforted. Lemon and peppermint are uplifting scents that can ease depression and disperse unpleasantness, which is partly why they're popular in cleaning supplies. (If using fragrances instead of edibles, be subtle; too much can trigger allergies.)


  • Be a graceful loser. Try not to sulk about the issues and seats that the conservatives won. If you must sulk and complain, do it in private or in like-minded company where you won't hurt those who feel otherwise. Bonus points if you can gracefully congratulate people on those wins if they bring up the topic.


  • Remember that we live in the UNITED States of America. It's up to all of us to keep it that way.



  • If you find this post useful, you are welcome to link back to it or to copy it elsewhere with credit to Elizabeth Barrette ysabetwordsmith.
    Tags: community, family skills, life lessons, networking, politics
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