I’ve been pretty silent this entire election—choosing to ignore the reality TV show that has been consuming America.
But something I saw last week triggered me.
I passed by a church and almost drove off the road after looking back to re-read a sign—“Only God Can Save America.” In shock, I said to myself, “Really? Why are we relying on someone or something else to save America?“
God is not sitting in heaven working on saving America. He’s too busy. The reality is that Trump won’t save America. Hillary won’t either. Our government sure won’t save America and neither will anyone else. The only person who can make America great again is you. How?
The Power of Responsibility.
We have to take full responsibility for our actions and how we live our life. These days we are surrounded by negativity, hatred, greed, laziness and blame. If our life situation is not so great, should we just blame society, the government, our spouses, or maybe even the poor dog? If someone promotes hatred, should we justify why it is okay and then be just as hateful?
Nothing will change in the world around us until we first fix the world within us. Responsibility means to stop and to honestly look in the mirror. This means taking time to understand why we do what we do and then taking steps to change something if we don’t like it.
Now, I have nothing against God. I do believe in something larger than myself and I do believe in the power of prayer and good intentions. But what I don’t believe in is sitting around and waiting for God or anyone else to solve my problems. I am the only person responsible for my life, my health, and overall wellbeing. Once we take full responsibility for our life then we have a new power to make any change we want.
Are you familiar with the phenomenon called “I will be happy when…?” It goes like this: I will be happy when I finally get the promotion. I will be happy when I lose weight. I will be happy when I get a bigger home. Our marriage will be happier once we have kids.
The same is happening with this election. I will be happy when these no-good xyz-ers get out of Washington. Things will be so much better when so-and-so is elected. You can add any name in the placeholder, since regardless of who gets elected; our levels of long-lasting happiness will not improve.
The common factor with this “happy when” phenomenon is that we rely on something outside of ourselves to make us happy. The reality is that nothing external will ever bring lasting joy. Real happiness must come from within and this is indicated by the state of our internal wellbeing, physical health, mental strength, and emotional balance.
If we are not peaceful within ourselves then we can’t have peace in the world. If we are not happy within ourselves, then no matter how hard we look, we will never find happiness anywhere else.
The Only Vote that Matters.
One in ten Americans takes antidepressants and the number is one in four among women in their 40s and 50s. Something is fundamentally wrong with how we are living our life. I don’t have the answers, but I do know that it is a better bet to not rely on God, Trump or Hillary to make America great again.
Each of us must step up and take responsibility for everything in our life. Once we assume responsibility then we can start to make the necessary changes that will help us realize a happiness that no one can take away.
In the end, we are all on this earth for a limited amount of time. How will you choose to spend your time? Miserable, complaining and waiting for someone or something to make you happy? Or will you spend your life living with gratitude for what you have, joy and courage to look at yourself when it is time to make a change for the better.
Let’s be realistic. It is somewhat naïve to think that once the election is over that everything will change and improve.
Regardless of who gets elected, changes take time to implement. After Tuesday, when you wake up each morning, be sure to vote for yourself. After all you are the only person who can help make America great again.
“Responsibility does not only lie with the leaders of our countries or with those who have been appointed or elected to do a particular job. It lies with each one of us individually. Peace, for example, starts with each one of us. When we have inner peace, we can be at peace with those around us.” ~ The Dalai Lama
Author: Pam Lilak
Image: @elephantjournal on Insta
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren