Last week, I was in Asheville enjoying a much-needed reprieve from one of the most difficult seasons I've gone through. The weather turned out to be perfect and we mosied downtown to wander aimlessly through downtown Asheville. A few blocks in, we were met with passionate folks holding up their signs for their opposing candidates. Although the idea of engaging candidates wasn't my idea of taking a break, my curiosity got the best of me and I asked the campaigners why they were in favor of their candidates.
We had an interesting, yet passionate discussion. The Trump supporter said her main issue was Life. She said she represented the silent victims of abortion who couldn't stand for themselves. The Clinton supporter said that he was passionate about supporting living wage jobs. He saw too many folks fall on tough times when they were laid off and personally knew working poor who were overeducated and underpaid. The Trump supporter was eager to share at this point, proclaiming that her own children were forced to leave the city for jobs because the local economy did not support them.
Though the media would portray supporters as venomous foes, we actually had a great conversation and agreed on more than I expected. I was excited to share an example of how I get to be involved in solutions related to both of these issues through my life's work focused on helping mothers know that they don't have to choose between motherhood & success--we're here to support moms who courageously choose life and we also provide resources for moms to help them secure living wage employment. My pro-choice friend even agreed that we were doing good work to help moms who chose to parent. I walked away hopeful that they would keep up their passionate pursuits after the election was over.
On November 8th, we have a chance to vote. Everyday, we have a chance to live out our beliefs and still remain neighbors who aren't hate-filled, but passionate people who desire to take action to make a difference. Let's not let this fire die down or burn us up with hate.