Compared to the rest of the world, the United States is a relatively new country. If you look at our age comparatively, we would be about the age of a toddler. Some countries that have been around longer are at the pre-pubescent stage, some are unruly teenagers, other ancient civilizations are starting to enter the golden years.

As the mother of 18 month old twin toddlers, I can attest that this age is filled with laughter, joy, and lots of growing pains. When toddlers get frustrated, they stomp their feet and cry and scream, attempting to get their way through any means possible. They don't yet understand how to work out their differences through diplomacy. They know what they want and they throw a fit if they don't get it. Toddler property laws go something like this - it's mine until I give it up, and if you have something I want I'll just take it. Toddlers don't yet understand that the world does not revolve around them, or the concept that they are surrounded by other thinking, feeling people that may not express the same point of view.

If the United States is experiencing the growing pains of toddlerhood, it's not surprising to me that many people in this country would want to elect a leader in tune with the behaviors exhibited by a toddler. Initially, the thought of Donald Trump becoming president had me researching ways to move to Canada if he was elected. But that reaction was focusing my energy on the problem instead of the solution, and what we focus on tends to grow. (Or another way to put it - what we resist, persists.)

So instead of getting frustrated or worse yet, afraid of the future, I'm now choosing to envision Donald Trump in a different way - as a toddler throwing a fit on the floor of the grocery store. I'm making a conscious choice not to make him any more significant than that.

Is the tantrum embarrassing for the parent (or in this case the country?) Sure. Is there a little bit of pressure and fear of judgment as we try to figure out the "right" response to correct the behavior? Yep, every parent knows that drill all too well.

But here is the thing - I don't blame my toddlers for exhibiting age appropriate behavior - I use the situation as a teachable moment. I realize that the frustration they are exhibiting is an opportunity for me to help them see the world in a different way. If my toddler throws a fit on the floor I don't give in to his demands, but I also don't turn my back on him or give him up for adoption because he frustrates me. Our country is in need of guidance, direction, and nurturing from those of us that are level headed enough to stay calm in times of turmoil.

The United States is frustrated and dissatisfied, there is no question about that. Many people would say that the world is going crazy, that we are in crisis, and use that as an excuse to go into fear and self protection mode. I see it slightly differently.

What if Donald Trump is exactly what this country needs to help us work through our growing pains and enter the next stage of growth with more knowledge, empathy, and as a better world citizen? (Before I start getting bashed by the Trump supporters, I don't like Hilary any better. If she gets elected I think it will be more of the status quo, nothing will change and that is certainly not what this country needs right now.)

One thing most of the country seems to agree on is that our political system is broken. What if this shake up is exactly what needs to happen to create the change we desire? Is this the change we've been asking for, showing up in a different way? I think it is, and although I love Canada I'm not willing to take up residency - not yet anyway. I'm gonna ride this one out, just like I have done with all the other tantrums I experience with my kids. Hopefully we will all learn, grow, and be better for it in the end.

 

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