Stand to make communities strong again

By Victoria Edstedt

While Donald J. Trump was taking the oath and becoming the newly inaugurated President of the United States Jan.20, Washington turned violent.

People met the change with broken windows, destroyed property and created chaos. As I usually do, I drink my black tea and tried to make sense of politics, but only get bored with the loud words and empty statements.

I re-read a transcript of President’s Trump inaugural speech. Some of it is true, some of it is pompous. After his sensational campaign, many Americans waited for a more clear and unifying message. Instead, they felt forsaken among negative, yet valid remarks about the current state of the country.

“Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth,” President Trump said. He brutally called out corruption and America making “other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon.” He pledged that this will stop and from now on, every decision will benefit America and its people first.

I’ve heard the same thing in different variations plenty of times before and nothing ever happened. I am not inspired nor am I angry, afraid or frustrated.

I am curious.

For the first time in my life, the unpredictable happened – elites lost their long occupied, warm places to a scandalous businessman with a sexual harassment suit and endless controversies around his name. When the protests are finally over, what is next? Will “the movement continue and work begin,” as it is promised? But most importantly, will the American nation stop blaming others for its own actions and take responsibility to strengthen local communities rather than spread gloom and aggravation?

It’s easy to hide behind President Trump’s racism and sexist comments and ignore the fact that the country’s divide comes from the hearts of ordinary citizens. Throughout the 238 years of American history there has been a constant battle for one’s freedom from the public’s judgement whether in the context of color, religion or sexual orientation.

At the end of the day it’s not about President Trump or what he says. It’s about communities we create and live in. I know people with all kinds of backgrounds and what truly matters is how they choose to build relationships and treat one another within their social circles. It’s all about personal values, respect and commitment.

There are many colors between black and white and many more political stands between Republicans and Democrats. The world is complex and every individual is unique, but all of us share a universal desire to live the absolute best lives we can. So why not overcome our egos and share this passion for life together?

Author: Victoria Edstedt

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