In response to a school leader’s query about supporting the adults who are engaging in supportive conversations with their students post-election, I wanted to share a few resources in today’s post. Please note: I think these frameworks and reflections are potentially bipartisan and multipartisan–that is to say, regardless of whether you feel you “won” or “lost” in this Presidential election, it’s been and continues to be a politically, emotionally, socially, personally and morally turbulent time for many of us. I hope these are helpful.
I think it’s vital to understand what self-care is, not just as a catch-all buzzword, but as specific, intentional practices regarding political engagement in this inundating time. Self-care as a means to, rather than a destination, is critical in order to do our jobs, and redefine as necessary and helpful what our “job” is.
And here’s an essay “Five Habits to Heal the Heart of Democracy” from Parker Palmer framing our work as healing together. Applying this essay to politics right now means opening ourselves to what suffering, exclusion, disenfranchisement and inequity may be the undercurrent or tide carrying forward the beliefs, speech and actions of whomever we disagree with (and perhaps fear). Inclusion and equity are all or none propositions. We can’t justify inclusion over here for this group, at the exclusion over there for that group. This is the challenge, opportunity and real advancement of justice: what we do when we are hurting, and others are, too (including those who are empowered).
Finally (but not comprehensively by any means), the article “An analysis of Donald Trump’s election win and the prospects for his presidency.” I’m including what I actually wrote to the educational leader who asked me about resources to support faculty and staff as they support their students:
I may be going out on a limb here. Please feel free to tell me to step it back. But in my inbox with your email was a link to this article “An analysis of Donald Trump’s election win and the prospects for his presidency.”
Please click on it before continuing to read this email.
There was something cathartic about it for me. No need to be eloquent, rational. It’s just a page full of visceral response. Which made me laugh. Which opens a space for reflection: so now what? (from an emotionally different place). This is all to say, I might use this as a conversation opener, also later acknowledging this isn’t everyone’s perspective. But first we just exhale. Then we put our educator hats back on. If not this article, then perhaps there’s some other way to give permission for a primal scream?
Again, I don’t know if I’m way out of bounds sending this. But it seemed worth taking that risk.