*To see real-time footage of NYC, check out my Instagram stories: @beauty.beyond.bones*
Here we are: the day before the election. I’m sitting in my Manhattan apartment right now, overlooking the Empire State Building and the streets of Greenwich Village, and it’s one of those eerily beautiful days. The sun is shining brilliantly, but on the horizon, behind the Empire State Building’s spire, the clouds are super dark, ominous, and puffy. The wind is whipping, causing my prewar windows to rattle, as it appears, an afternoon thunderstorm is looming.
It’s as though Mother Nature is mimicking the state of the world with the election less than 24 hours away.
I was jogging this morning through the streets of midtown and downtown, and it was a bit of a surreal experience. A bit of “deja vu” if I actually believed in that sort of thing.
But it was an eerie sight. Because I’d say that 75% of the stores have all boarded up their windows in preparation for unrest at the election results. The sight took me back to June when NYC literally was ablaze with rioting and looting. I remember sitting in front of my window, in lockdown mode, watching as looters ran down the street below. Never again, I hoped. And sadly, here we are, it appears, yet again.
Just the past weekend, rioting exploded in our neighboring city, Philadelphia – to the point where the National Guard was deployed. Fifty-seven officers have been injured, and if that’s any indication of what’s to come after the election, I am highly concerned.
And New York City, still rebuilding after the previous bout of rioting and looting — is taking no chances, this time around. Macy’s Gucci, Bed Bath & Beyond, Staples, CVS, restaurants, high end and other retailers, bodegas – have all boarded up, in the hopes of fending off the angry mobs, come election night.
And jogging home, I couldn’t help but think, “Is this what we’ve come to?”
Is this what our nation has become? Our candidate doesn’t get chosen, so we take to the streets and riot because we didn’t get our way?! That is just wrong on so many levels. See
I just have to believe that we’re better than that. That we’ve got more of a moral backbone and spirit of cooperation than to raise fist and flame against our fellow Americans, all because of a difference in political ideology.
I seriously pray that all of this preemptive boarding up of businesses is in vain. And that our country can accept whomever is elected tomorrow. Because the truth is: at the end of the day…we are all just that: fellow Americans.
We’re neighbors, family, friends, co-workers, community members, — and at the end of the day, that’s really what matters. Not what side of the political aisle we may fall.
That’s one of the most important lessons I’ve learned living in NYC – arguably the bluest of the “blue” cities. It’s that at the end of the day, politics simply doesn’t matter. Not when it comes to relationships.
Because behind every vote – one way or the other – is a person. A person with dignity. A soul. A heart. And a will to do what they think is good for the world. Just like me and you. And if we spend all our time villainizing “the other” because of what we assume they believe or think — or if we spend all our time focusing on what makes us different, then we miss out on the opportunity to love them. We miss out on all the good things that get filtered out when we fixate on the differences.
This election has torn this country apart at the seams. Literally. Look at NYC. Look at Philly. Look at Seattle. Look at your community.
Tomorrow night (God willing), there will be a “winner” and a “loser.” But if we respond in the way NYC is preparing for, then we all lose.
Are there great issues at stake? Yes. Are there matters of great importance that could be gravely impacted by the election of one candidate verses the other? Absolutely.
But people matter over policies. And I pray that, come tomorrow night, when all is said and done…we can remember that.
Choose light over dark. Always.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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