010: On Politics

This is a very busy time of year in the world of politics in the state that I live in. There is an election tomorrow that has the potential to change a lot of things. There are a lot of posts on social media, mailers in the mailbox, commercials on television, and it’s really difficult to get away from it. I am going to go to the local polling place in the morning and place my vote, just as many others will. I hope it’s a record turnout. If you’re not going to, and you’re able, get out and vote.

Everyone knows the larger election that is looming. I can already feel the tension in the environment around me as it gets closer. This Presidential election will be another turning point in our great country. It has the potential to be very divisive if we let it. I admittedly got caught up in some of the social media jibes back and forth with some of my friends during the last election period and the aftermath, and during COVID. I should not have let it become divisive. In some cases, I did. I kick myself for that constantly.

Since then, I have tried to listen to and learn from other people and their beliefs. Whether they are very much like mine, or completely the opposite, having a conversation and listening to what their experiences are that lead them to believe what they do is far more productive than trying to “win” an argument about it. I think both sides have one thing right – that the media and people from both sides of the aisle would have us believe that we are radically different. Polar opposites. But I don’t think we are. The division is caused by a small group of people that feed the information to both sides. They count on our naivete in believing some or all of it and grabbing onto it, and then shovelling it onto others. No one really knows what the truth of it all is. But we need to be active listeners in trying to discern it. Listening is our greatest weapon against division. Let others speak. Don’t post something divisive and then retreat to your corner. Look people in the eye and actually engage with them in a heart to heart conversation. It might not change anyone’s mind, but it might enlighten and educate you both about something you didn’t already know. And it will at the very least give you a glimpse into the heart of the person that you’re having the conversation with. Give it a chance. It’s worth it.

Oh, and GO VOTE!!!!

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