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Reflections from President Blau: Holding Hope

November 1, 2016

Our monthly blog feature from MiSPP President, Dr. Diane Blau, discussing what’s on her mind and in her heart regarding MiSPP and the field of professional psychology. 

President Diane Blau

There would be several areas to explore this month if the election was not the major topic of conversations, TV news reports, internet interruptions and twitter feeds.  While it may not be not be predominant at school, it seems to encircle my world as soon as I step out of the doors of MiSPP.  It comes with attention-getting staccato music and the announcement of “Breaking News!” which to me by now is like the tale of the boy who cried wolf.  There is no breaking news — it is same recycling story.  I just wonder how long I can sustain the onslaught.

I suspect this is true for most people; at least those with whom I have spoken.  “When will this be over?” is the refrain I hear.  It has been painful — to our ears, to our beliefs, and further, to our hearts.

We have witnessed behaviors that some of us have never experienced.  The worst of communication — finger pointing, interruptions, yelling, name calling.  A young child, when seeing a moment of a debate on television before her parent could quickly change the channel, looked horrified, and said, “Mommy, that’s not nice!”

Are we at a point when disrespect and lashing out has become acceptable?  When acts that we would have considered to be way out of line, now can be commonplace?

My humanistic values and beliefs are coming under question.  I have believed in truth and honesty.  While not being naïve, I know this is a relative concept.  I believe in the goodness of people, in kindness and compassion, in care and respect.  Yet what has been flaunted over and over this election cycle is the opposite, and I often feel shaken and vulnerable as a result.

I yearn for ways to comprehend the dissatisfaction and unrest that is present.  And I search for pockets of health and well being, satisfaction and celebration, life and growth. I know they exist and see them in individual stories.  Yet they are quiet and hard to hear amongst the noise of the moment.

By the time you read this, most likely there will be resolution and hopefully the harshness of these past months will be silenced.  Perhaps there will be opportunity for an integration of extremes, for a coming together, for a new creation. Through my life experience with students and clients, with friends and family, and within myself, I know it is possible.