Glenda Overstreet: Draining time leads to new energy
The emotions I felt on the evening of Nov. 3 were so drastically different from those of Nov. 7.
On Nov. 3, the election results seemed bleak and universally defeating. The time and energy invested over the course of the year manifested itself on the television screen and seemed to continually project four more years of self-ingratiating, racist and oblivious behavior.
To relax my mind, I joined a group in prayer over the guidance of our country and intentionally turned the channel to look at a light-hearted family series, ”Chrisley Knows Best,” until I fell asleep.
Awakening the morning of Nov. 7 renewed my faith that we as people are indeed more alike in our values, our decency and our genuineness of caring than we are different.
Yet, the 70 million voters who chose to ignore all of the undesired behavior of one person is very telling.
The 70 million represented women who chose to ignore the foulness and demeaning actions that white male privilege can bring. They represented people of color who chose to ignore the plight of their community neighbors and families because they themselves have more.
They represented men who chose to ignore that they are not the only ones who live in this world. They represented law enforcement who pledged to serve and protect but chose to kill and hurt instead.
And, they represented those ignorant enough to choose to support an occupant of the White House while holding their nose and remaining silent. We should all be very concerned about those 70 million for they lurk in the dark corners of your community, schools, churches and, yes, your homes.
Yet, there is someone who reigns supreme, and if nothing else, the election has shown us that unity trumps hate. It has shown us that the spirit of love conquers all. It had shown us that those who have lost their lives for democracy will ultimately be rewarded through the persistence of their successors.
I have voted in every election since the age of 18. Over the course of the years between 18 and the year 2008, I never had the opportunity to vote for anyone who looked like my father or my mother, but I voted nonetheless. I did so keeping in mind the character of the candidates, their agenda on issues and how my beliefs aligned with those issues.
Voting for a candidate who looked like me, my mother or my dad, took the value of voting to a higher level as it provided a sense of total inclusion.
To know that my children and grandchildren were able to see and experience the election of Barack Obama, a Black president, in 2008, and recently, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, an Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority alumna, truly is powerfully humbling and motivating for me.
So, now that we have a realistic picture of where our communities stand, we have lots of work to do to focus on helping to make things better for all, bringing decency and respect to all in what we do and say.
I believe the Lord saw where we were headed and provided the necessary change in our direction! Let's not waste the opportunity that has been given for it is indeed a gift.
Kindness over greatness = A happy life! Try it and get a life worth living.
Glenda Overstreet is an active volunteer and community organizer in Topeka. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.