What Happened: Part 2

Grit and Gratitude is the title of the second chapter of What Happened in this chapter, Clinton describes the days and weeks immediately following the November 8th election. If I had to describe the main theme of this chapter, it would be self-care. Clinton described how she coped with and processed her defeat in the election. I think that even with the context stripped away, this is an important thing to talk about and normalize.

I feel that sometimes we don’t put enough value in self-care. But if we just keep going, even when we need a rest, won’t we just burn out eventually? This chapter, and this book as a whole, is in part a way for Clinton to remind us that she’s a human being just like the rest of us. She has needs, she has feelings, she has limits. To acknowledge our limits and allow ourselves to take a moment to catch our breath is not weakness.

In fact, it seems that Clinton fears the complacency that comes with burnout. She feared that people would be so defeated that they would give up trying to make a difference. In her own words: “Since I spent a lot of time worrying that my loss would permanently discourage the young people who worked for my campaign, learning that my defeat hadn’t defeated them was a huge relief.” I think that’s a valid fear for Clinton to have. People like Clinton are frankly not getting any younger, and they will eventually retire. Who is left to carry on after that? People my age, who voted in a presidential election for the first time, are soon going to be in the House of Representatives, the Senate, and eventually, the White House. Regardless of politics, I’m just as glad as Hillary Clinton to see spirits invigorated rather than dampened by recent events. Whether you agree with the outcome of the election or not, it’s important to not get complacent, whether it’s accepting people you don’t agree with, or not questioning people that share your values.

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