Post-election emotions

Medford, Ore. —  While there is no shortage of feelings after the results of Tuesday’s election, many Americans are breathing a sigh of relief simply because election season is over. But one Rogue Valley resident is just getting started, launching a new campaign a day after the polls close.

The windows at the local campaign offices are now bare, as a tumultuous election season comes to an end.

“It’s been a mess,” one resident says.

“It was a lot of bickering back and forth,” Bob Burger adds.

“It brought out the worst in people.”

“It was just an ugly campaign.”

But on a street corner in downtown Medford, where the campaign signs of opposing sides went in and out of party office doors, a different sign is now on display.

“Kindness,” Sarah Shaw says, “it’s pretty self-explanatory.”

“Negativity can be a heavy thing,” Shaw adds.

Sarah Shaw thought that message was needed now more than ever.

“There aren’t any parties anymore,” Shaw says, “and there are others that might not fit in your own box but have a right to their own decisions and their happiness and their own life, we’re a community, we’re a state, we’re a country, and we can’t forget that.”

So for no reason at all, Shaw stood on a street corner for hours, with a “Walking on Sunshine” play list in her ears, and a smile on her face, in hopes that kindness is a position we can all choose to take.

“Regardless of what’s going on in your life,” Shaw says, “you can relate to something as little as just smiling at a stranger, or holding a sign, or holding a door.”

Shaw hopes her message will inspire others to spread kindness going forward. And even though she received a parking ticket during her downtown display, she says seeing the smiles on people’s faces was worth it.


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