Tag Archives: u.s. presidential election 2016

Day 073 – Something that makes being curious harder

This post is going to be about something that, I suspect, makes being curious harder for all of us: fear. In my case I have been afraid more or less continuously since waking up to the U.S. election results on November 9. I am afraid (selfishly) for myself and members of my family. More obviously I am afraid for my friends of color. Attacks on students of color and women, some verbal and some physical, seem to have gone up already. One at Texas State University was done specifically in Trump’s name (“Now that our man Trump is elected, time to organize tar and feather vigilante squads and go arrest and torture those deviant university leaders spouting off that diversity garbage.”1).

On a note of real weakness, I am also afraid of all the hard work we’re going to have to do to unite this country. We need, I believe, to reach a point where each side understands the other’s concerns and is prepared to give up some of what they want so that we can live and work together productively. Without that cooperation we don’t have a chance of solving our very serious challenges in terms of race relations, employment, and environment, to name just a few.

It will come as no surprise, I’m sure, that in this state of fear I find it more or less impossible to be curious. I’m convinced curiosity would help. I think every kind of curiosity I’ve been writing about—existential, mindful, desire-to-know, and interpersonal curiosity—would help me personally and us as a group meet these challenges better, but all I want right now is to put my head under the covers and stay there until someone comes to tell me it’s safe to come out.

Since I don’t want this blog to become politicized, this will probably be my last post about this election, but I found I simply couldn’t write about anything else today.

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1 Dickerson, C. and Saul, S. “Campuses Confront Hostile Acts Against Minorities After Donald Trump’s Election.” New York Times, 10 November 2016.

 

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Day 070a – Warning! A comment on the U.S. presidential election

Here is an article that makes the point that Trump won because college-educated Americans are out of touch. No big surprises, and I don’t agree with everything he writes, but he makes a strong case for interpersonal curiosity on an institutionalized level, i.e., understanding in a whole organization what the other people think and how they feel.

Day 069a – To see what it was like

Once again I got to check “curiosity practice” off my list before breakfast. I went to the polls with my mother (having voted early in another state myself) simply to look around and see what it was like. I’m glad I did, not just because I could then check something off my list ;-), but because it was much pleasanter than I expected.  The people working there had made a real effort to make the school gymnasium welcoming, they themselves were friendly, and the voters waiting their turn were cheerful and not at all aggressive.