How to be happy regardless of who is in the White House
By James E. Woods II
The election is over; we have a new president. For many in the black community, the outcome of the election left us feeling gut-punched. The morning after the election we felt like a boxer regaining consciousness after being knocked out. We were not really sure where we were. The room was still spinning, and we couldn’t understand why some people cheered. A sense of despair and foreboding ran through the community. “How did we find ourselves here yet again?”
But I submit to you that we have reason to be happy, regardless to whom is in the White House. No, I’m not punch-drunk; neither have I been smoking marijuana for medicinal purposes. Unlike our Caucasian counterparts, we in the black community have never had the luxury of basing our happiness on external circumstances or outcomes, but rather, the internal forces that have maintained, sustained, and propelled us forward through the years. During slavery, we were poorly fed, barely dressed, and overworked; yet we grew strong and thrived as a people. In the midst of this adversity, we overcame through force of will, spiritual connectivity, and mental fortitude.
Our strength of will carried us beyond chains, whips, and captivity to produce a resilient people. Our spiritual connectivity gave birth to songs that ascended high above the cotton and tobacco fields to touch the throne of God. This spirituality empowered us to form post-slavery households that were morally stronger than those of our oppressors. Slavery tried to convince us that we were not people, and therefore, not entitled to pursue happiness or any human dignity. However, our mental fortitude has seized what slavery attempted to deny us.
So, regardless of who is in the White House, we as both a people and individuals have three reasons why we can and should still be happy:
- External forces are not now nor have they ever been the source of our happiness. And the only election that has ever had any lasting effect on us as a people was that of Abraham Lincoln. We have been on our own since then.
- If you saw the movie, “Hidden Figures”, you would realize that historically we excelled during adversity. So, the worst thing that could happen to us based on who is in the White House is to provoke us to show the world the true fortitude of those living in our house.
- We in the black community have a trump card of our own (pun intended). We have the ability to adapt no matter where we find ourselves. Like biscuits, in the oven, the heat will only make us rise.
So, terminate your pity party. Chose not to surrender your strength of will, spiritual connectivity, and mental fortitude. Put a smile on your face, and go show the world that regardless of any political outcome we as a people will always overcome. We will be happy regardless.