Casey at the Bat,Donald Trump

Dealing with Trump trauma at home: Teaching our kids to embrace uncertainty

November 13, 2016
in Kids

Wednesday morning in America felt like Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s famous poem “Casey at the Bat,” albeit with higher stakes. Metaphorical comparisons may be drawn between the tense baseball game and arrogant star player Casey and last week’s election. It will not be hard to discern the analogy: “Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered “Fraud!” But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed. They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain, And they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again. The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate, He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate; And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go, And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow. Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright, The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light; And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout, But there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has struck out. My small, progressive town is Mudville this week, and Casey is the fabled establishment. Here, most voted for Hillary Clinton, a decent number voted third-party, and indeed there were some who voted for Donald Trump. Many small children were distraught Wednesday morning when they awoke to find exhausted, disheartened parents like me who had had three hours’ sleep (if that). Overheard on the way to school, and later at school pickup, parents tried to allay the fears of children young and older with a frantic quickie lesson on the checks and balances of our democratic system. Experts argue we could come at this in a better way: by celebrating the lesser-known value of uncertainty, rather than coddling it. Ron Friedman is a psychologist and author of “The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace.” He’s also the father of...

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