Unsettling Notions

The election has a lot of people (actually the majority of Americans) concerned about the future, particularly the way we treat each other and how we view diversity and manage our differences.

My youngest son, Jesse (a smart, flourishing business leader in LA), has a young daughter and son and his comments just break my heart, writing to me that the election has made him angry and yet motivated to want to find a way to make a positive change.

“I don’t know what that even means,” he says, “which makes me even more angry…but I want to be a better role model for my kids and community and feel like I can do something to have a positive influence.

“I feel like we are all too intelligent, fortunate and capable to sit idle and “wait” it out for four years. Perhaps this is a wake-up call for me and others like me, that we cannot stand idle and expect good things to happen. For too long I have been so afraid to take a stance or advocate for what I think is right. So I can no longer rest on my ignorance or repulsion for politics and allow that to dissuade me from ensuring the environment which my children and my eventual grandchildren live is safe, healthy and sustainable.

“No, this does not mean I have any interest in running for any political position…but I am determined to find a way to make a difference…please hold me to it and push me so I don’t remain on the sidelines all the time!”

Indeed! While we wait to see how the dust settles in Washington D.C., I am buoyed and proud by Jesse’s comments and desire to make his community a better place. I hope to help him look within ourselves to rise above hate and violence and make our own community a kind and respectful environment!

The holidays are usually a time that we extend warmth and care to our families and friends, and even strangers. My hope is that the election can encourage us to find ways to look beyond our differences and embrace the ‘holiday’ spirit of love and friendship. This isn’t a time to ‘take America back’ or ‘make American great again’….America is already a great place, we’ve already made so much progress in accepting diversity and differences.If we can’t change the attitudes of various fractions in our country, we can at least ensure that Central Oregon is the kind of place we want our children and grandchildren to be safe from prejudice and bullying.

With this thought, I hope you have holidays that lifts your spirits while you help others ensure we live in a caring and respectful community.

~ Pamela Hulse Andrews

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