I am getting desperate to figure out a way to prevent the coming months leading up to the election on November 1st from dragging me down into a crater of disgust. The show being put on by the candidates so far is not only embarrassing, it’s downright distressing.
So, this is what I have come up with so far… I hope to look at this political season as an opportunity to practice behaviors that I want to cultivate and truly embody. I have two big triggers that I know will serve as rich territory for learning. The first is cynicism, which someone wiser than me once described as “the sewage of the soul”. When I hear a perspective that is stated this way, I experience an actual negative, physical reaction. It sounds so mocking and makes the person saying it look ugly to me. I am sure I have expressed myself in cynical ways in the past but very much hope those days are over and if not, may I catch myself in the act and pivot in another direction. I don’t want to show up ugly that way. Thankfully, I have plenty of local and national candidates reminding me of how I don’t want to act.
Lesson number two will likely present itself at those times when folks running for office focus exclusively on ‘what’s going wrong here’. Really? Is there nothing that is working? Does your opponent have no redeeming qualities? This narrow view makes me doubt their ability to have the kind of expansive perspective required by those we entrust to lead us. My desire here is to limit the amount of time I spend in that ditch, wallowing around in all the yuck, so that I may see the biggest, deepest and most alive-with-potential picture.
I have this quote taped to my computer monitor in my office, but between now and November I might need to tattoo it on the back of my hand.
“It requires no special talent or effort to look at our world and point out the things that numb us, or dumb us down, or depress us. But becoming keenly and consistently aware of what’s good, true, beautiful and life-giving around us and within us demands discipline…”
I hope that by seizing the ‘opportunity’ provided me between now and the election to be more disciplined about where I focus my attention and how I talk about what I am seeing, that
these will become my default behaviors. Who knows, if enough people sign on to something like this, it could be the start of our own little revolution. We can only control us. But if there are lots of us’s, maybe by 2020, we can be having an entirely different discussion about our future.
One thought on “Intelligent Hope”
Amen, Kim! I am also keenly aware of the cycle of cynicism that hits me like a truck every four years. This year is certainly no exception — except that it’s magnified by a factor of Trump. Thanks for sharing your lessons!
PS Happy belated birthday!