Don't Ignore Us - What the 2016 Election Taught Us

by Pauline Sandell

I’ve been meditating on my strong emotional reactions to the election, escalating those reactions by looking at some of the “stuff” on Facebook before I got a grip on myself to stop feeding those reactions and engage my capacity to look at a bigger picture (which I can do really well when I chose). I just want to share them with you all.

Those who came out to vote for Trump have been heard (or “seen”). There is clearly a huge number of Americans who feel their need for attention has not been met and the only person on a public platform who has given them even a glimpse of a possibility that they might be even acknowledged – seems to be Donald Trump. Whether he can deliver or not – they are willing to take a risk because he acknowledged their need.

I understand how it feels to not to be seen, heard or acknowledged repeatedly and consistently. It sucks!

This is not a comment or opinion about the politics (as a Brit , tho I live in the US, I cannot vote here yet). This is an observation about being human and the human condition – the need to feel like we matter, that we count is primal. To feel ignored, talked at, exploited at best – manipulated and powerless – at worst – I think, forces one to do whatever it takes to be “seen” and “heard”.

Whatever my own beliefs and views – all I can say is I understand (and worked with populations) who know first-hand how it feels to not to be seen, heard or acknowledged repeatedly and consistently. It sucks!

What this election and the Brexit phenomenon may be reflecting is that huge numbers of the population showed up to say “I want to be counted – literally (I want to be seen and heard).

We have a system called democracy that allows that. Some other parts of the world don’t. Does the system always work the way we think it should? Hell no! But it mostly serves us (or we make do) – but then comfort encouraged benign “righteousness” may lead to the belief that the system is working for everyone. Clearly, from this election, it seems the system is not!

The fact that we have a system (however imperfect) that gives people who may feel they have no voice the option to be heard, in my view is still pretty progressive. I can certainly celebrate and feel good about that!

Pauline Sandell

Pauline Sandell

Personal Coach and Writer

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