-Angel Marie Russell

We can’t start being the change unless we think about how to do it. One way I think we can start is by staying calm and centered in love in our discussions and disagreements, as silly as it sounds. If we can think the best first of the person we are speaking to, we can keep hate and rage out of the conversation. We (collectively) can’t know what is in each other’s heads. We need to learn empathetically by listening more than we speak. By knowing we are intelligent enough to listen, while calm, without jumping to assumptions before another person has finished, we effectively communicate.

We come together by trying to understand each other. How did this person get to this idea or belief? Is there a fact behind this? Can I calmly present facts to show that idea is wrong? This society wants to dumb us down (in my opinion) and I think what we are exposed to online and in the media teaches us inappropriate ways to communicate. This leads to disconnection, anger, judgement, shame, rage and violence.

The way to peace is understanding. The way to understand another is to listen. And it is possible to disagree and still be friends. That’s our beauty, our differences, our ability to teach one another why our experience, family, situation, or beliefs exist. What have we been taught? What is correct and unaligned? What is incorrect and aligned? How do we come together when we disagree?!

This is love: to forgive, understand and have patience, so we can listen objectively. I know this election totally sucks. So does all the separation and division in this country. It’s corrupt. It’s bullshit. In response I’m saying we should come together but remain different. We don’t always have to agree. We can heal this divide by asking how, and then taking steps to learn how, and then acting on these lessons. We can come together if we are willing to remain calm and listen to each other through peace and love.

Love to all of you in this trying time.