Weeks in advance of each presidential election, we weather long-winded televised debates, divisive dialogue peppered along campaign trails and cartoon images of donkeys and elephants going head-to-head.
All of the above, especially the latter, are visions we wouldn’t normally find in nature, though we’ve naturally come to expect all of it and more. Given the ramp-up to Election Day, here’s a handy check-list for calibrating sans circling the wagons the day after.
Presidential elections are intense. Whether you’re knocking on doors for weeks in advance to rouse a vote for a particular political party or quietly pulling a lever a minute before the polls close, you’re participating in a rare and remarkable right to insert your involvement in the fate of a country. It’s a biggie. Take a breath and reflect on the power of your participation.
2. Celebrate Impermanence
Four years dissipate in the blink of an eye. If “your team” didn’t make it into the White House’s corner office this time around, the chance for entry will come around again. If “your team” did make it into the White House’s corner office, this too shall pass.
3. Step Up to the Plate
Rather than gloating over a win from your civic chair, how about wiping the nervous sweat from your brow and getting more involved than ever before with the causes and issues that matter most to you. Volunteer, editorialize, advocate, activate. And if you’re freaked because the values that you voted on didn’t sweep the nation on either electoral or popular scales, dedicate your efforts to polishing your point of view and help to bridge gaps between those who agree and those who disagree.
4. Let Freedom Ring
Everyone has the right to believe in what they believe in. Show your political adversaries respect no mater what their position might be.
If we truly want to be the change we wish to see in this world, reach out to that friend or family member who you know is feeling down in the dumps today, and extend a word of support and encouragement. Because if we really want to see the kind of progress and idealism our country’s founding fathers envisioned on both a national and international scale in this lifetime, the olive branch must come from your own hand.
Editor: Kate Bartolotta