Radical Joy Revealed
November 9, 2016

Radical Joy Revealed is a weekly message of inspiration about finding and making beauty in wounded places. We hope you'll enjoy these doorways into places that are both familiar and surprising, and we welcome your suggestions, stories, and photos. Click here to subscribe. 

Trump v. Hillary cartoon
Trump vs. Hillary Cartoon by Joe Heller

The election cycle that ended (finally) yesterday was the most bitter, contentious, hate-filled, and fear-inducing that most of us have ever experienced. Now the choice has been made.
Unfortunately, the acrimony isn't likely to end quickly. Many Hillary and many Trump voters absolutely detest the other person.
Media pundits are calling for Democratic and Republican politicians to come together. But we citizens need to take on this responsibility ourselves as well. Here are a few ideas to get the process started:
1. Greet your neighbor who voted for the other candidate. Ask after their health. Compliment their garden. Ask what they're doing for Thanksgiving. Mention something about the neighborhood that you both care about.
2. Send a love note. If you have a family member or close friend who voted for the other candidate, send them a little note affirming your love or friendship. Email's okay, but a handwritten note is better.
3. Do something together. Pick up trash on your block, rake leaves together, walk to the subway or gym or post office together.
4. Gather a council circle. Invite members of your community to sit together in council. Bring a stick, stone, or special object that can be passed around. While each person holds this object, they may speak from the heart without being interrupted, questioned, or asked for explanation. Being able to speak like this is very freeing. Deep emotions often bubble forth. When each person is finished, they pass the "talking object" to the person on their left, and the process continues until everyone has spoken. Ask people to take a vow of confidentiality that what is shared in this circle will not go further.
5. Don't expect miracles. Your effort to bridge differences may not be welcomed at first. Don't be discouraged. Keep trying.
In fact, don't take any of these or other suggestions simply in order to get results. Do it because you're a bridge-builder, a mender of brokenness, a giver of beauty. Do it as we do all our RadJoy acts of beauty for wounded places... because we recognize that a place, in order to be whole, must accept each of its parts as valuable and worthy of love.
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Radical Joy for Hard Times is a global community of people dedicated to finding and making beauty in wounded places. Reconnecting with these places, sharing our stories of loss, and making acts of beauty there, we transform the land, reconnect people and the places that nourish them, and empower ourselves to make a difference in the way we live on Earth. 
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Each week Radical Joy Revealed comes to you free of charge with inspiring stories and suggestions for living with endangered places in creative, life-affirming ways. It takes thought, imagination, and a sense of timing to uncover and write the stories, choose just the right images to accompany them, and prepare them for distribution, and we could use your financial help. Please show your support of Radical Joy Revealed by making a tax-deductible donation to our non-profit organization.

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