I don’t like to write about politics because I just don’t, but I am going to write and say that I am hopeful that all this candidate business will soon be over. I don’t know how folks in other decades looked at the election process and the candidates. We only get glimpses from historical documents. I often wonder if they were as shocked and dazed as I feel. Or scared. I mean, who from all the ones we have been reading about is the least scary? About the time I am thinking I might support one or the other something comes out about them that causes me to wonder if they are the right one.
As a citizen I want to do my part. I want to follow the conversation and I try to understand the issues. I always vote when it is time. I want to have a good leader for our country, but there are many times I feel that there is not really a choice. Our process seems to be that we weed out any good, moral person right at the beginning and then focus on who might do the least damage according to each viewpoint. It is a mess and it makes voting stressful.
We watched a movie last week on Netflix. It had several famous stars and they were portraying political candidates. The movie focused on the process of being chosen as the candidate for that party. It was basically who could outmaneuver the other. Who had the most dirt on the other. Most of them hated each other and talked about each other in the vilest of language and then showed up on TV acting like the best of friends. It was scary because it mirrored exactly what we see in the news in our real life.
Keeping up with the political news can really make a person feel as if there are no good people left on this planet. Actually, keeping up with ninety-nine percent of all news can make a person feel disheartened. BUT there is truly hope that in real life there are good people around. I read a small poll just yesterday that asked folks if they make their beds in the mornings. Overwhelmingly the answer was “Yes, every day.” But the best part was that most added the fact that their spouse not only made the bed but also emptied the dishwasher every morning for them. Or some other kindness that makes life just a little bit easier.
I see young families at the parks playing together and I see dads getting out of their cars in the mornings to walk their young children into the school building. When I volunteer at the elementary school, I see other people giving their time to help kids. I receive encouraging notes from people who read this very column and it makes my day. I watch as my two youngest boys scramble to get to the door before others so they can open it for them. I know that has been a debate in recent years but I still want them to open the door for others.
When I watch the political stuff through all the different media outlets, I get a panicky feeling that our world is going down the tubes. When I watch real life and see all the good things that people are doing for each other I feel positive. I see so many people giving of themselves to help others or to show a kindness. It doesn’t take all that much to pray for others, smile for others, or even to write a short note to others. I find that it takes a millisecond to connect with a store clerk or the guy at the post office or the receptionist at the medical office with a smile or even a nod.
I certainly cannot control the political situation but I can control my own day and how I choose to live it. I don’t know who our next President will be but I do know that I can make a difference in others’ lives by being kind, gracious, and honest. Last week my son’s teacher took the time to call me just to tell me how much she loved him and how she loved watching him grow and blossom. Made my day and took less than three minutes, however, it will last a life time for him. No president comes even close to influencing my child like his teacher did.
Makes me think about our priorities. So much time and money spent on the election process. So little influence where it truly matters.