(I (Love this photo! Especially her ‘hammer’…)
Regardless of who you support in this election, it has been a nail-biter down to the very finish. I have been frustrated, elated, exasperated and optimistic. But you know what’s exciting? I actually care!!
I was thrilled as I stepped away from the polls today just to have the opportunity to express my opinion. I know it can feel like one vote can’t matter much but, trust me, it does. Every single vote counts in this particular race but mostly it matters to YOU! It feels good to speak your mind. I’d appreciate it, though, if we could be kind as we do it. And why can’t we focus more on what we have in common?
That’s where my frustration has come from – the feeling that our opinions are deeply dividing us. Aren’t we supposed to be heading towards enlightenment as the years go by? And yet I have never seen the parties more divided, never heard such hatred towards people with differing opinions.
At the moment I just so happen to be reading a John Steinbeck book, Travels with Charley, In Search of America. It’s a GREAT account of Steinbeck himself traveling across the country with his dog. It’s honest, refreshing and totally relevant despite being written in 1962.
In it I came across a passage that brought me back around to some fundamental and deep truths about our country. I find it inspiring, uplifting and bang on point.
“…But these are my people and this is my country. If I found matters to criticize and to deplore, they were tendencies equally present in myself. If I were to prepare one immaculately inspected generality it would be this: For all of our enormous geographic range, for all of our sectionalism, for all of our interwoven breeds drawn from every part of the ethnic world, we are a nation, a new breed. Americans are much more American than they are Northerners, Southerners, Westerners, or Easterners. And descendants of English, Irish, Italian, Jewish, German, Polish are essentially American. This is not patriotic whoop-de-do; it is carefully observed fact. California Chinese, Boston Irish, Wisconsin German, yes, and Alabama African Americans, have more in common than they have apart. And this is the more remarkable because it has happened so quickly. It is a fact that Americans from all sections and of all racial extractions are more alike than the Welsh are like the English, the Lancashireman like the Cockney, or for that matter the Lowland Scot like the Highlander. It is astonishing that this has happened in less than two hundred years and most of it in the last fifty. The American identity is an exact and provable thing.”
Let’s focus on that, shall we?
The thing that unites these United States, We the People, not the government.
Let’s be enlightened, selfless, loving individuals that reach out to each other every day, not just in the face of a national disaster. (Though our entire nation is a bit of a disaster now, isn’t it?)
We all know the Gandhi quote “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” So let’s empower ourselves and be that change, not rely on one man (a politician, no less) to enforce his version of change.