Sunday, October 28, 2012

Be the Change You Want to See

With the political scene closing in on the final moments, the air of uncertainty drifts over us like a thick dense fog. It doesn’t matter what our political affiliation might be, most likely the majority is not sure who will win. What we do know is that regardless of whom wins this race, 50% of the people will win and 50% will lose.  What we do know is that this election has been a year of polarization and separation.  What we do know is that most feel the effects of the battle that has been fought. What we do know is it will take more than 50% to bring the country back together.

So where do we need to go now as a country, as people, as individuals? It seems that politics has moved to a new level where there is no middle ground for the people to gather at with our common points, but rather it is a “us” and “them” mentality.  It is a “right” and “wrong” mentality.  The deep line drawn in the sand has moved into a washed out ravine that no one dare cross due to its dangers. This ravine is threatening to separate us as a nation much deeper than our politic philosophy. And the sad part about this outcome is that it appears that we are content to allow this separation.

It is interesting that the people that may decide this election are the undecided voters.  This would indicate that these are the people in the middle that can’t decide which side of the line they want to stand on. They aren’t necessarily comfortable with the separation and polarization and are trying to make sense of what needs to happen to make things better for our country.

One thing is for certain; whoever wins this election has a big job of helping the nation heal.  With the separation and polarization nothing can be accomplished.  It seems that in the name of “getting the message out” we have forgotten how to be kind and loving to the people that we cohabitate with in this country.  We have forgotten that as much as we have differences within the political parties and within ourselves as individuals, we have similarities. We have forgotten that although we each wear different shoes, we have probably walked in the same shoes as our neighbors at one time or other, or we know and care about someone that has.  We have forgotten how to be quiet and listen to those around us and what they are trying to say. And yes, it would be good to come from the top down, but probably more importantly, we as the individuals in this country, need to start a grass root effort where we listen to each other and care more about the person than our ideals.  It is the coming together of the people, probably through climbing down into the ravine to meet in the middle. Yes, it will mean that we have to put down the swords and begin to care about each other, again, as people. It will mean that we have to be willing to listen and care about what our neighbor is experiencing.  It will be an opportunity to practice Gandhi’s words of wisdom, “Be the change you want to see.”

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