What a year this is turning out to be. We all knew 2016 was going to be a presidential election year. Yet, most of us are already exhausted from the political carnage we are witnessing each day. And it’s only February!
For some, you may be in the thick of it campaigning for your local, state, or national favorite. Others may be the silent majority waiting for the dust to settle a little more before stepping in to the fray. There are also those on the sidelines who prefer to vent on Facebook their interminable rant about any one or more of the candidates. And God-forbid if a Republican or a Democrat gets elected! Of your God-forbids, they may definitely depend on your party affiliation, personal loyalties, and beliefs.
I hope no matter your affiliation, even your Facebook forecasts or fantasies of the future, we all will be able to stay somewhat sane and rational throughout the coming months. I bet you wonder, “How in the world is that possible?” Well, dear reader friend, I hope what I offer here will give you solace through this season’s swaggering political posturing.
I realize there are very serious situations at stake for our nation and the world. And none of them should be taken lightly or ignored. For so many, this time-ticking political season feels more than a time-ticking bomb about to explode. However, can I begin with a ray of hope that comes from beyond humanity’s exceptional tendency to think in terms of the extreme gloom and doom variety? It seems that truth is hard to come by these days from all the blistering bravado blasted across the airwaves. And much of so-called “truth” seems to be a variable easily bent in any direction one desires.
In spite of this reality, can you first decide that no matter what happens God does exist, loves his human creation, and would rather offer His Truth with Mercy in the midst of our mess? And that inside each of us we are given the opportunity and ability to be a positive presence for our community and our nation whatever the party affiliation or values we hold dear. If you can, then we just may be able to actually recognize wisdom when it whispers to us. That is where our hope rests.
Here is another hopeful help. No matter how passionate you may be about your values and political platform, you can disagree agreeably. We each have the freedom to choose how to respond to that person in front of us who may be on the far side of our values, both personally and politically. But there is no denying it; that person in front of you is a person deserving of respect for simply being human. If you make the effort, you will find some common ground to affirm each other as you respectfully disagree. Believe me, this sounds simple, and it is. However, it is far from easy.
Our emotions and insecurities always seem to flare up when we least expect them. That is particularly so when we tend to believe the world is doomed if it doesn’t go the way we want it to go. And if we were to be honest about it, we would want everyone to have the values we hold dear. We also work hard at trying to convince them those values are virtues applicable for everyone. So, you may need to “pause” for awhile to recompose yourself before the mouth starts to open and the body starts to reverberate any rant or rage. You just may find a friend on the other side of your camp.
So, whether you are in the thick of it or staying on the sidelines for awhile until voting day, I can guarantee you will have an opportunity to share your personal and political values somewhere along the way. I hope you discover that you can remain hopeful for our nation’s future because you trust in God’s Mercy and His much greater desire for humanity’s future than any of us. And that you can “pause” and reflect prior to voicing your thoughts or venting your opinions face-to-face, on Facebook, or any other social media.
May what you share be done with respect and personal responsibility for the impact your voice and actions will have on others and our nation. This is your time and opportunity in 2016.