[Part 1 here.]

Forgotten the line between virtual and real life. Forgotten that perhaps our meat-brains have not kept up with the pace of shiny technological evolution. Forgotten our personal responsibility in assessing what is real and what is being sold.

I think one of the reasons why I’m not reeling about the election results is because I believed that there was a 50/50 chance for either party to win this election. As we have seen countless times this year alone, the media is no longer representative of the people’s opinion; it is an entity of its own with its own motives and goals. I prepared myself for both results because what I was seeing presented by the media did not echo the sentiments of the people around me.

From what I’m reading now, an acknowledgement of this disconnect is out there. Now, it’s on us as individuals to become more selective about the things we consume. It’s our individual responsibility to say no to this growing trend of inflammatory and biased headlines that are currently passing as “news” and “facts.” We must vote with the most effective tools we have: our attention and our dollars. It is inconvenient. It is not easy. But it is right. I believe this whole-heartedly.

If this is indeed our moment of waking, I hope we as individuals will rise to the challenge of becoming aware of both what is within us and what is outside of us. I hope more of us will start to ask, “Is this accurate?,” “Who benefits from having me believe this?,” “How did they reach this conclusion?,” when consuming social media. I hope this will be the kick in the pants we need to rise out of the trend of numbing our first-world problems with food, with drugs, with mindless entertainment, with what is easy. I hope Democrats will not behave toward President-elect Trump how some Republicans behaved toward President Obama in his tenure — not because I think the president-elect has conducted himself in a respectable way, but because we owe it to ourselves. The grace and sportsmanship we demand of others must apply to everyone regardless of party affiliation, or whatever moral ground we have left will quickly disappear.

When I have taken the time to see outside of myself and into my community, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to learn that most people are trying to achieve very similar goals — peace and happiness for themselves and for their loved ones, regardless of a difference in approach. I don’t believe that life is a zero-sum game, so will we hold each other back or will we pull each other across the finish line? The ball is in our court. It is time to act, and to act well.