Hi-Ho, Neighbor

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Yesterday, I woke up with a sense of dread. I can’t say that I have ever actually felt that before about a new President. Before you start yelling at me about how Hillary Clinton is a criminal (because apparently that’s really all you can shout to make your choice seem legitimate), this post is not going to be bashing Trump. So, please, put down your pitchforks and give it a chance.

It isn’t so much Trump that I’m afraid of; it’s the hate that he has stirred up within our country. It’s the people that blindly follow him without the reasoning of Hillary but because they think he will allow them to do whatever they want to someone who is different than them.

As I got dressed yesterday, I tried to figure out how I could feel better about this… about our country, and I came up with what I’m going to do.

I have always tried to help those less fortunate than me and, in times when I was struggling as well, those around me, but I feel like that really only affects me and the individual people that I touch. I want to start a movement.

We have forgotten how to be a community, how to love one another. We judge those around us; we fear what we do not understand about other people’s culture or way of life. It’s time to remember who we are (or rather should be).

I’ve seen Americans do amazing things. There are times that the world looks toward us because they know that we will help, but recently, we have lost that. There is no sparkle in our eye, no lightness in our hearts.

We’ve become cynical old men yelling at anyone and everyone to get off our lawn.

Why don’t we stop? Now. Let’s do it. One day at a time, let’s begin to turn it around.

I’ll go first. Every day, I will find a way to affect someone else’s life in a positive way. Yesterday, I paid for the person in the car behind me’s Starbucks coffee. Maybe he kept it going; maybe he didn’t.

I have no set plan for what I’m going to do each day, but I will not waver in my resolve.

One of the reasons that people voted for Trump is to “Make America Great Again.” I believe that is something we can all agree that we want… the “again” part is a little debatable, but I digress.

Start small if necessary, just smile at a passerby, compliment their outfit (genuinely), comment something nice on a social media post, or buy a stranger’s coffee. From there, maybe expand your viewpoints: read (something other than the newspaper/magazine), engage with someone different than you in a positive manner, learn about a new culture, have a conversation with someone who walks a different line than you, or just open your mind to allow others to be different from you.

I’m not simply suggesting actions; we need to take some reflection time and really find out who we are as a people. Do we want to be known as our stereotype? As bigots and racists who exude arrogance?

We always talk about how Canadians are so nice, but what’s different about them from us? I would said that it’s their ability to accept others.

We always try to force our views/our culture/“our” language on someone else, whether it be religion, politics, or sports. Why? Why can’t we just allow people to like, feel, worship something different from us?

Muslims, LGBT, POC, Hispanics, Women, etc. all have one thing in common, and not just with each other but with everyone else. They (we) are all human.

Do not lash out at what you do not know, do not understand. Don’t condemn others simply for the actions of a few. I know you’re scared. I know it’s confusing, but it’s unnecessary. Hate only breeds more hate… just ask Emperor Palpatine.

So, America, it’s time for us to step up to the plate. Let people be who they want to be. Let’s learn to be neighbors again. We’re all family, in a way, and though we get on each other’s nerves and do despicable things to one another, it’s not too late.

Next time you see someone in need, don’t look away—act! Help out.

Next time you see someone spouting hate, show them love. “Kill them with kindness.”

You want America to be great again? Then, let’s make it a country that people don’t feel afraid to live in, don’t feel afraid to be themselves in.

Stop making fun of those who are different than you. Find an equal ground. You’d be surprise what an act of kindness can do for someone else’s day, life, etc.

I’m ready to fight to make this country great; who’s with me?

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