Sunday, November 13, 2016

Nagini & Election Results

Confession (a somewhat embarrassing one)...I am afraid of snakes. Not the real, found in nature snakes...but like the imaginary, demonic, larger than life snakes you see in fantasy movies, horror movies, etc. It started when I was a teenager and I had recurring nightmares about these snakes coming after me. They were so real that even today, after all this time, I can conjure up images from the dreams. I went to my pastor and told him about the dream and he told me it was Satan after me. So, I was scared before...and scared shitless after. Now logically I know and my kids know that these fears are unfounded and silly...but my kids are still going to hold my hand every time Nagini comes on the screen. They love me so they understand and do what they can.

For those confused about who Nagini is...
I've been hearing a lot of talk after the elections about how the fears of POC, the LGBTQ community etc aren't valid. People blame the media or panic or political correctness or whatever. They dismiss the fears and tell people "get over it" But that isn't helpful. First of all, there are valid reasons for fears. There is a historic precedence that "Make America Great" means trouble for POC. Cornel West says any time a white man says "Make America great again" they are coming for the black man. You may disagree but I'd encourage you to research Nixon's "War On Drugs" and the effect of Reaganomics before you disagree too vehemently. However, just for the sake of argument...let's say you are right. Let's say the fears are unfounded...

What exactly does it help for you to dismiss those fears?

Regardless of whether they are founded on fact are not, they are real fears. And you telling someone to get over them doesn't help. In fact, since they are afraid that they are going to be unheard or unnoticed, you are actually compounding their fears. Their feelings are just as important as yours and if you want to be heard, so do instead of turning your back, try taking their hand.

I promise you if Trey told me Nagini wasn't real, it wouldn't help. I'd still jump. My adrenaline would still rush. I'd still have to close my eyes. He doesn't tell me that. He takes my hand. He may chuckle at me but he is still with me and for me and that is what makes the difference.

I suspect that if you do that...if you symbolically or actually take the hand of someone for whom the election results have caused some very real fears, your perspective will actually change. If you sit and listen to them in a posture of being with and for them, you will hear things that will make you uncomfortable and probably change your worldview. Would that change your vote? I don't know. But it will change your heart. And it may make them less afraid.

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