An Open Letter to the Progressives of Oklahoma:

By Sean Murphy

 

The elections are over and educational funding wasn’t improved (and there was no sure bet that it would have been anyway). We are protected from the dangers of Sharia law preemptively, and we can sleep soundly knowing that this was not a way of playing on the ignorance and xenophobia of our state’s voters. A homophobic candidate hid behind her faith and failed to have to face the real issues. As much as we want to be happy that there is gender equality, we can’t even be happy that a woman is governor.  Maybe the equality we can celebrate here is that we can hold the woman who won responsible for her views, values and decisions the way we would have any male.

The elections are over.

After the initial disappointment of the results comes getting back to business. A quote attributed to Wayne Coyne speaks a lot to how I am feeling: “I never waited for anyone to be elected for me to live the way I want to live.”

 

Outside my store window where I am writing this, it looks pretty much the same. There is a barber repainting the red stripe on a pole in front of her business. Shopkeepers are sweeping their front sidewalks. The sky is grey. It is starting to get a little chill in the air and people are bundling up a little in hooded sweatshirts and tossing scarves around their necks. They are taking their children to school huddled up to their bodies. People are smiling and stopping each other for quick chats on their way to get to the places they shop, work or live their life. Looking out my door with a scarecrow painted on it I don’t see the straw man issues of the recent ballot. Looking out past the holiday decorations at the people going about living, I can’t see who is Republican or Democrat. No one has colored them in like a television map with red or blue. I just see my neighbors. The campaign signs are coming down and barely mark the landscape. The biggest divisions now go back to being between the college football teams we support. People have gone back to being Oklahomans. The elections are over and the world goes on.

 

We did not get the results we wanted, but I say we not sulk or consider a mass exodus. The grass isn’t greener. (well, maybe the grass is a little greener somewhere else, the grass outside my window is yellow and dry) but the grass will be green again when the season passes. Winter is coming and it will be cold. The trees will look dead and will snap under the weight of the next ice storm, but it is just a season and everything will be resurrected come spring. Life will endure. So will our causes, progressives. Sometimes life is settling in for a season and preparing to pop out of the cold ground come spring. We can keep teaching our children about love and compassion. We can faithfully remember that our love is meant for all of humanity and not just a select few. We can write poems and editorials. We can offer a hand and help resurrect a dying neighborhood. Do art. Discuss the issues, and not just with those who will agree. Be forgiving and understanding with everyone. Live your causes. Tutor children. Give of your time at schools and libraries. Volunteer. Meet someone from a faith, lifestyle or political party different than yours. Befriend them. Express yourself and your love. Show your light and not let it be smothered out. I am thinking of a seed just beneath the soil reaching up until the season comes that it breaks from out of the thick red soil and shows its own colors. I am writing this as an encouragement to you. Stay put. Grow. Nurture and be nurtured by others. This is where you belong and don’t wait for 2012 or any other time to live the way you want to live. Keep reaching towards the sun. Our season is coming soon.

Sean Murphy is the owner of Handmade with HeART in Old Town Moore.

 

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