San_Antionio_Aug_2015_005Healthily Expressing Political Views
By Laurie Hunter

November 8, 2016

You may wonder how expressing our political views relates to the education of our children and teenagers. It has everything to do with it. When they hear adults saying things such as, “This leader will destroy…” and “Our world is coming to an end…” it creates tension and anxiety, which affects their emotional well-being more than you can imagine.

“The sky has been falling” for thousands of years. But just within my limited time on Earth, adults have begun to incessantly and vehemently talk about it with such strife, judgment, and emotion and in front of our children. It is creating an upheaval of anxiety and uncertainty about their future and their existence. In homes and classrooms, these feelings can manifest in ADHD-like behaviors, bullying, escapism, and uncooperative behaviors. And over time, it can heighten a student’s apathy, depression, anxiety disorder, and/or oppositional defiance.

We, adults, should consider how we phrase emotionally charged statements around children and teens. It is our right to share our political views and opinions. But, we have no right to take away their hope and future.

Our children also suffer when they witness people from different political parties verbally slaughtering each other. Our children need to see how the people of our nation can work together. Here’s a metaphor to explain why:

The human arteries are illustrated in red. Our arteries deliver oxygen to every cell throughout the body. In turn, cells dump their waste into the blood. The veins, which are illustrated with blue, carry the depleted blood and waste to the heart and it is pumped back into the lungs to receive life-sustaining oxygen. The veins also deliver the waste into the lungs, so they can be exhaled out of the body.

If it weren’t for the veins, the body would become poisoned and die.

If it weren’t for the arteries, the cells would not receive oxygen to live.

Are the veins bad because they carry less oxygen and more waste?

Are the arteries bad because they take oxygen from another and then give it to cells?

If we think the veins are worse than the arteries, should we rip them out of our bodies?

They have to work together, or the body will die. The same is true for our nation. If we do not live as “one nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all” it’s like ripping out our arteries or veins and trying to live with only one, without the other. We may have been divided as a nation when we voted for a president. But if we’re not careful, our divisive acts as we move forward will divide us further. If we rip out the veins in our arm, our arm is going to die.

Gloating and being a sore loser are divisive acts that will divide us even more. During football games, excessive celebration after a score and taking cheap shots when losing is considered unsportsmanlike conduct for vital reasons.

If we voted for the candidate who did not win, we have to accept it because it was “the will of the people.”

If we voted for the candidate who did win, then consider our gloating as dangerous as ripping the arteries or veins from our body.

Our body…our nation, needs us both in order to survive. Rather than gloating and being sore losers, we all should be thinking about how we can unify and work together for the good and health of our nation.