On this Election Eve I want to tell a story.
Earlier this evening I was walking towards the salad and sandwich place at which I often stop for dinner before class. An elderly homeless man was standing a bit away from it, holding out a cup and asking passerby for change. We’ve all seen those situations.
He softly asked me for money and I said I didn’t have any and walked away. My mind usually goes back and forth when it comes to those who are homeless. On one hand I know of the circumstances that exist which would keep people on the streets: mental illness, drug dependency, faulty insurance… And on the other hand on my crabby days I get pissed at those asking for my hard earned money and think that if I can bust my ass to eat and put a roof over my head, they can, too.
As I walked away I didn’t feel either of those things.
I just felt sad.
Sad because we live in a nation where homelessness is a problem. Sad because I didn’t know this man’s story and perhaps I’d judged him unfairly. Sad because he was alone.
And in those few moments, perhaps I felt sad too because for the past few months I have felt that this entire country is made up of people who are alone, in a way.
Alone with their anger.
Alone with their hopes.
Oh, there have been rallies, yes. Lots of joining together and cheering and chanting and organized gathering for what several groups of people believe is right.
But to me, we are all alone until we are able to unite despite our differences.
As a nation, we are all alone until we live with a little less judgement and a little more acceptance of those with whom we do not agree.
There are only two emotions from which all other feelings are derived: love and fear.
And we will all be alone in this world until we focus on the latter.
So I turned around.
And I walked back to the homeless man and asked if I could buy him dinner. He happily asked for a meatball sub from Subway, and after I got it and brought it, chips, and a drink out to him he smiled and carefully tucked the food in his bag before walking away.
A president is of the people, for the people and by the people. He or she is only as strong as his or her nation.
Please, let’s remind whoever we call President by the end of tomorrow that we are united. Let’s remind him or her of the values on which this country was founded and hold the new Commander in Chief to a high standard. Furthermore… Let’s hold ourselves to a high standard. That goes for supporters of all candidates.
We only have each other, guys.
Love, not fear.
(Featured image source: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/11/serve-the-people/)