In the past 5 days, I have lost two people I love, and the cumulative impacts of this long election and its final results have left me in a state of shock. I imagine there are others who feel the same. To those of you in pain, saddened, fearful or worse I offer these words.

I love you. Not because of anything you’ve done or not done, who you voted for or didn’t vote for, but because you’re a human being, and I honor our shared humanity, and the inherent worth and dignity that I believe should be afforded each of us as a natural birthright.

Politicians, presidents and leaders come and go. They have enormous opportunities to lead, inspire and govern us in accomplishing great things, but they are not the whole picture.

Despite the darkness there is always the light, despite our fears there is always love, and in the big scheme of things, there is still much to be thankful for. That the sun continues to shine, Earth continues to orbit the sun, and that this precious, beautiful, life sustaining planet are still alive, should offer us all more than a few moments of gratitude. Despite all of our challenges, more people are living longer lives with higher standards of living than ever before – supermarkets and smartphones remain relatively recent developments in our species history. Despite our wounds, we are resilient, and Earth and us both have proven our abilities to heal, recover and transform in truly miraculous ways. Most importantly, we have each other, and our stories are not yet over.

I believe it is vital for us to keep our eyes on the prize and remember the kinds of people we wish to be and world we want to create. Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, what kind of communities do we ultimately want to live in? As someone who’s seen illness cured through diet and lifestyle changes; homes heated by the sun and powered by the wind; healthy, organic foods grown in and around homes; safe, effective walkable, bike-able transit systems; and socially responsible businesses, I know the kind of world I will work towards and I have seen that there is an ever growing community of others who all want such a world too.

Be gentle and compassionate. I expect that my grieving is not yet over, and I have learned that the healing process is never linear. But no matter how blue I may feel, I know that my commitment is to finding a way to pick myself up, dust myself off, get back on my feet and keep right on going. After all, what else is there to do?

In these moments, we have to remember that there are hundreds of millions of people all around the world who also want a healthy, sustainable, peaceful world, and who are working towards and contributing to this in their own way. So hold your loved one’s close and don’t miss out on opportunities to let those you love know it. Life goes by so very quickly, and there is much to be done, not only for ourselves, but for each other, and generations to come.

Blessings to you, your family, and our world!

Love Brad