So…just 4 days to go!
As we get closer to election day, many among us have strong feelings about wanting one candidate or the other to be elected our next U.S. President. Others may be completely disinterested in politics, and believe that it really makes little difference in their lives who is in the White House.
Perhaps this latter group is lucky; their level of disinterest virtually guarantees that, no matter who wins, they can presumably go about their lives without any added stress or anxiety.
Hmmm…maybe they’re on to something! Could it be that keeping a certain detachment from events we can’t individually influence is a very rational – and healthier – approach to life?
I’m not suggesting that people who are politically engaged suddenly stop caring about the policies they would like to see enacted, or decide that since they can never really know if anyone is being straight with us in all circumstances, they might as well become cynical about every elected leader.
What I am suggesting is that we try to tamp down the urge to react as though everything that may not be just the way we want it to be is going to be completely awful.
I’m suggesting that we all take a deep breath (actually, several!), and practice giving up.
That’s right, you heard me – as in, give up all expectations of a perfect outcome as you would define it. Give up being right – be curious instead; ask yourself: “How could this actually turn out to be a good thing in the long run?”
Most of all, give up feeling helpless! I encourage everyone who’s interested in what happens after November 8th to remember that they can always stay engaged and make their opinion known to their representatives through established channels available to all citizens. And if you don’t want to do that, that’s your right as well! Give up blaming or shaming yourself or other, for not doing more.
No matter what happens, know you are not powerless, and that nothing is permanent. Indeed, this country has been evolving for well over two hundred years now, and will continue to do so long after we are gone.
So take some more slow, deep breaths and commit to helping your family, your community and the country, in your own way, to heal the rifts caused during this rather brutal campaign cycle. In the words of the immortal Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world!”
…And if you still catch yourself feeling anxious, angry and provoked, go back and read last week’s post!