Yesterday's news came as a shell shock to many, including myself. It just didn't seem possible for such a hateful, insecure person to win the election. However, after getting over the anger and fear, I have realized that as a Canadian living in Massachusetts I have been in a like-minded liberal bubble. As an educated young person living in an urban environment, I have only benefitted over the last decade.
Many people that voted for Trump and the Republican Party have done so because they are simply fed up. Even as the general economy recovered after a recession and grew steadily, their personal livelihood has suffered or hasn't grown at a rate they felt was acceptable. Many are blaming the changes in the job market and manufacturing on non-functional government, instead of general trends of globalization and innovation in technology. People, especially the older population, want security and don't want to change their skills this far in the game.
And we must understand these reasons. Yes, many people that cast their vote for Trump are hateful - for many it's a race issue, immigration issue, LGBT issue, gender issue, women's rights issue, abortion issue, free hate speech issue. But many people (despite the fact that I disagree that the way they came about their decision wasn't based on facts, but on emotion) - it's simply a fear of change and the promise of going back to when they were on top. They felt the need to ensure their personal prosperity and security. We cannot simply dismiss them and their reasons.
Instead, we need to begin the process of healing and reuniting as a society. For two long years, the country has been so divided. We need to lead by example with compassion, respect and positivity to ensure that no one's rights get taken away and we only become more accepting. Because isn't that the American dream - personal freedom to be who you are?
So reach out to people outside of your community and your political views, participate in a two-way discussion, and share your experiences and ideas. Despite what has happened in this election, positivity and happiness are much stronger than hate and fear.