I admit it: I am relieved that the election (and political commercials) are over. But I was struck last night with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Not necessarily for the choice of president-elect, although he seems like a neat man and I wish the best for him, but for living in this country where I can participate in something so momentous. I was listening to all the commentators, and something that Tom Brokaw said struck me and I haven’t been able to let it go. He said:

“Once again, we have experienced a peaceful transfer of power in our nation.”

I took a moment to think about how many people in our world live under corrupt power–to varying degrees–and the only way they can ever hope for change is through great violence and death. No matter how bitter you are about the previous administration or the future one, we cannot relate with that kind of oppression. There have been vicious ads and intense debates, but at the end of the day, we count votes. VOTES! That each of us gets to cast! Then, someone calmly concedes and a new leader takes his place. Feelings may be hurt, but no blood is shed. It’s a process that I really do take for granted. Thanks, Tom, for reminding me!

(Yes, some of you may have missed my post here where I talked about my crush on Brian Williams.)