moving forward together

Yes, I firmly believe Barack Obama was the better candidate.

I am grateful and relieved that he won his bid for reelection. I cried. I'll readily admit it. I didn't cry casting my vote for him this time (the first time was so historic, I couldn't help myself) but I started crying when the win was announced (I still haven't watched the speeches, it was late - I'm sure I'll be blubbering).

But. I will not demonize. I will not dehumanize.

I didn't trust Mitt Romney to put the issues that I feel need the most attention - the environment, human rights, international peace - at the forefront of his presidency. That is why he did not get my vote. But please don't mistake that for my believing that he is evil or inhuman. I know he is a human being, just like all of us. He has a different priority in his values.

(See Jonathan Haidt's work, especially his book, "The Righteous Mind." This article about Tea Party morality is also very informative. Lets' stop claiming that the other side is amoral, ok? We have different priorities.)

Each of us makes decisions in our lives, prioritizing that which we feel is most important. I have made mine. You have made yours. Hopefully these decisions have been made consciously, with regard for long term effects and consideration for others. Often they aren't. We sleepwalk through our lives, all of us, regardless of party affiliation.

I will not kid myself: the outcome of this election mattered. But more importantly, most importantly is us -- US, the people. Will we wake up before it is too late? Will we stop demonizing each other? Stop the infighting and grow up? Begin to make a real change in this world, throwing off the shackles of hate and greed that enslave us?

Let's work together. Starting with ourselves. Starting now. Extend a hand towards the other side (there is no other side) and let's move forward, together.