Yesterday morning, we argued. It was the oddest thing. For a year we were on the same side. Preaching to the same choir.
Then we elected our next president of the United States, and suddenly we were at odds over how to move on. One of us was in despair, and the other was angry. One of us wanted to protest peacefully, and the other wanted to burn some shit.
Didn’t America know this wouldn’t end? There was too much division. Too many issues still at stake no matter who we elected .
Yet, this division in our own home I hadn’t expected. It didn’t last long, but it was a little like this:
Bubba: All I’m saying is don’t be surprised if I end up in jail.
Me: Well don’t expect me to bail your sorry ass out.
There are more elections to come. No, not the one in 2020. I’m talking about how we elect to move on. To re-weave the violently broken threads that held us together. Emotions are high.
Excitement. Rage. Pride. Sorrow. Anxiety. Validation. Elation. Intrigue. Apprehension. Hope. Apathy.
Add to that list whatever you’re feeling. It’s valid. And so are the ones you aren’t feeling. That is to say, him — over there, on the other side — his feelings are as valid as yours.
Just because you don’t feel it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, isn’t true, doesn’t matter . . . doesn’t hurt.
I argued that all this division comes back to fear. Bubba disagreed. He restated that it was anger. I raised my voice and told him it’s because we’re all afraid. Some people are afraid of those who are different. Others are afraid of freedoms being lost. There is fear of lost jobs, or being deported, or emails. The media preys on our fear for viewership. Both campaigns were all about fear of the other side. It’s all fear!
Bubba said this is what attracted him to me, this glass half-full, sun-shiny for-the-people way of looking at the world, but that I was dead wrong. It’s about hatred and anger.
So I interrupted him and said, “Wait a minute. Didn’t Yoda say something about anger is fear?”
And as he walked away from me throwing his hands up into the air, every word coming out louder and faster, he said,
“Yes . . . Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. Goddamit, you’re right!”
And because in our household, there is no greater authority than Yoda, I won this one.