I keep seeing stories about the protests and even cases of civil unrest after the election. While I don’t condone the violence or support students’ skipping class, I understand the sadness, confusion, and frustration. In fact, I remember voting in my first Presidential election, only to see my candidate lose. I remember sitting among fellow shocked classmates the next day. Our Economics professor entered, took one look at us, and focusing on economics, devoted the entire lecture to any questions we asked. While I lack the skill to create such an impromptu lecture, I decided to prepare a few words for my students:
The day after a Presidential election brings many emotions. Many of you just voted in your first Presidential election. If so, congratulations!!! I remember the joy of voting in my first election, the shock of watching my candidate lose, and in future years, the glee in watching my nominee win. Moving forward, my nudge to you is to think outside the box, look beyond the candidates, the political parties. Instead, which issues motivate you?
Take the time to learn about what motivates you! This is the same wisdom I share with the research class. If you truly want to understand a topic, you must examine and learn about both sides. If you study politics, that means you must devote time to look at what both the right and the left have to say. Look for flaws, strong points, bias, and identify the leaders of each issue. Examine both sides and determine what you truly believe. You might even want to take time to journal about these issues during class or start gathering data for future college essays (Hint Hint!).
As an educator, I’m reminded that while I might not agree with some students’ political views, I admire their passion and dedication for examining the issues. Their dedication only strengthens our nation! So during this holiday season, if the young members of your life want to discuss the issues, please listen, share what’s important to you, and attempt an amicable exchange.
Thanks for reading! Peace, friends.