“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.”
1 last day…….
With the eyes of the entire world watching, we are mere hours away from appointing a new President-Elect of the United States of America. Although the disagreements have been frequent and fierce, the one thing we can all agree on is that this has been one of the most contentious elections in recent American History. With all of the vitriol and division it is very easy to forget that when we wake up on November 9, 2016; life will go on.
No matter who wins, or what side gets to claim a “victory” we will still have to get out of bed, brush our teeth, get the kids ready for school, rush off to work (only to sit in traffic), mingle with co-workers, do our jobs with excellence, pick up the kids, make dinner, get them in the bath and into bed, relax for 30 min and then hit the pillow to start it all over again. The grind, the hustle, the minutia of daily living will continue.
The thing that we must do in the middle of all of that: Live life as though political parties and red/blue states do not exist. I am challenging all of us to make a pact with one another that we will not let the elections and the results of the election stand in the way of genuine and authentic relationships.
Most of us have friends who are on the “other side.” But, if they are truly friends then their political choices don’t really matter. We like to make them matter but honestly you could enjoy the company of a great friend without ever getting into an argument about politics. Do you know what really matters? Playdates with kids, concerts with co-workers, double dates with church friends, games with the softball league, gym partners and paint and sip buddies. Life is so much more than economics, ways to destroy ISIS, guns rights and refugees. Although those issues are important, when folded into a life that is lived with passion amongst friends, they become trivial at best. What’s even more amazing is that a life lived with friends will shape and mold and change your thinking on all of these issues. Accept this pact and you will come to see that maybe, just maybe, you can soften your hard stances because relationship is more important than rhetoric.
How can we do this? It’s really simple. Let’s do it together.
1) I will not flip out on Social Media on November 9th: That means no posts about how the world is going to burn, we are all going to Hell in a hand basket, how you are moving your family to Canada or how the other side cheated, stole or bought the election.
2) If I have strong feelings about the outcome, I will talk to a human being about it, in person: Get out your frustration, if you must, but do it in person, over a cup of coffee, a glass of wine or a beer, have a conversation with some ice cream at the park. Find a safe space in real life that makes your happy.
3) If my candidate wins, I will not gloat: They won, it’s over. You’ve got four years with your choice at the helm. Now we can all move on and get back to the real work of influencing those around us for good and inspiring others to be amazing.
4) I will reach across the Great Divide: This has been a really polarizing and divisive year. Take some time this week to cultivate your relationships with those that you know disagree with you. Focus on empathy, love and grace. Find out what is going on in their lives besides politics. You never know what amazing things you may learn.
5) I will take this pact seriously: I know some will read this and blow me off……. You simply cannot help it. You must be heard. Others of you, will want to stick to the pact but succumb to peer pressure as you watch everyone else rant and rave (I know I would, so I’m not even logging into social media on Nov 9th). For some though, this pact is a refreshing thought that you will embrace and put to practice.
Do it. Let’s change the narrative.
It simply takes one person to Do Something and Be Better and that’s all we need to Change the World. Take the pact with your family. Share this with your cousins, your friends, coworkers and neighbors. Decide that we are going to do something new. We will Do Something that will actually make a difference around us. There will be plenty of time for us to get involved in politics again and to shout and cry and be enraged. Let’s just do it in a way that helps others: Hand in hand, regardless of political background, working to make this place better.
Is it possible? All it takes is you deciding right now to make it so.
If you are willing to make this pact, click the button below and enter your email address and next Wednesday I will send you a reminder of how to Do Something different along with a checklist of alternatives for that day.The Pact