Going negative.

In my job in the company I work for I received “business development” training. Basically it is sales techniques.

If you had not noticed, the United States just elected Donald Trump as its next President. I can legitimately say that a good many people are REVOLTED. Truly upset and scared for their freedoms, their friends, and even their lives.

I do think a lot of this is overblown and it is easy to become panicked. It is always important to note that it really is never as bad as we make it out to be in the beginning.

And then a principle from my business development training hit me. It teaches that when a prospect gets negative on you, instead of trying to swing them back to cheerful by being extra positive, you go even more negative than them. You’re not extinguishing the fire, you’re helping them build it. Taken by surprise, the prospect wants to achieve equilibrium and will take the conversation to positive for you. They will extinguish the fire that you helped create.

Maybe this is what Donald Trump will do.

He’s taking us negative as negative can get. In our horror, we will then strive to achieve the balance. We will go positive instead, maybe bringing some more mindful kindness to our day-to-day. Maybe accepting the office of the president is bereft of a role model for our communities and forcing us to be that character example instead.

This is the crux of it; with lack of leadership at the top, it falls on individuals to lead by example. Maybe progressives got lazy when the nation elected its first black President who fought for equity, healthcare, and climate action. Now with the last eight years’ progress threatened, the progressives are forced to self-organize, build stronger alliances, and work hard together.

This is a real coming of age moment for people who feel as if the nation is about to take a few big steps backwards. Quit chanting in the streets and double down on your efforts to bring as much personal change to the world as you can.

Donald Trump is taking us negative. But to swing the pendulum back the American people will have to go positive.

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Let’s Make America Lemonade Again

“I’m absolutely stunned right now”

I woke up to those words in a text message from my social media defunct friend. He had woken up to what many thought was a real impossibility.

Having stood at the White House at 2AM that morning I already had the news. The scene was a congregation of strictly Millennials. A select few smirked with their “Make America Great Again” red snapbacks. One guy in his hat climbs a small tree and waves with mock humility. He assumes a Jesus on the cross pose.

A “Fuck Donald Trump” chant erupts and a group of Hillary supports hold vigil with their signs. There is overt sadness.

The majority were despondent. I can’t remember a time I’d seen faces so blank. People could just not compute.

The morning was damp and cloudy. My own response to my friend’s text set the tone:

“I feel hollow”

Grabbing a coffee at Panera I turn my head to the stranger next to me and remark “We live in a new world.”

With just the kind of “hey, shit happens” optimism I needed this morning, he’s quick to reply. We need to keep the faith, he reminds me.

“This doesn’t lessen my diligence and it doesn’t lessen my vigilance.”

He points to his tea, “See these lemons? Take ’em and make lemonade, ya know?”

Yeah, man. I do. Thanks.