So, here we are just about a week away from Election Day...
and no amount of worrying, posting, cajoling or exhorting our friends,
let alone complete strangers,
will change whatever the outcome will be.
The reality is that,
with rare exception,
when the sun comes up on Nov 9th,
most of us will get up, get dressed
and go about living our lives.
If the candidate(s) we voted for wins,
the day will be tinged differently than if they had lost.
What's clear, however, is that someone will lose.
And our country will have to regroup and go on.
I recently found an article by an author I respect (here).
I wanted to share it for the final days of the election season -
and beyond -
more to remind myself than to instruct anyone else;
in this, as in so many things, we 'teach what we need to learn'.
How to help our country heal after this tragic presidential election:
1. Know that while you can influence others,
the only person you can control is yourself.
And, for God’s sake, stop arguing with people.
You’re not going to change anyone’s mind
by arguing or by calling them out;
both of these actions are just going to raise your blood pressure instead.
2. Know what you believe, state it calmly
and let go of your need to convince other people you are right.
If you get triggered,
simply say “I don’t see the truth in that”,
“Help me understand your perspective”
or "You have been heard”
and then walk away.
3. Put your energy into people who will actually listen to you
and engage in dialogue with you,
not debate, shame or try to discount you.
You don’t need those people in your life
and you don’t need to fight every battle to which you’re invited.
You don’t always have to show people you’re right.
4. Remember: the most powerful person in a tug of war
is the person who doesn’t pick up their end of the rope.
Let the rope go.
LET GO OF THE ROPE.
5. Ask yourself: What would happen if I gave up my need to be right?
If you feel you must defend your position, ask yourself why you feel that way.
Is it because you need to be seen as smart?
Is it because you truly believe the other person will finally see the light?
They likely won’t.
Learn how real change takes place –
hint: not by screaming at people.
6. Pick your battles.
Let most of them go.
You can make more of an impact by how you live daily
than you ever can by showing how smart you are in an argument.
7. Look for ways to build bridges and show support for everyone demeaned during this election – that would be women, people of color and people with disabilities, as a start.
8. Invest in your own learning.
You’re smart, but you’ve got more to learn too.
Everybody has a perspective.
Learn to acknowledge perspectives that are not your own with a little more grace
and a lot less hostility.
9. Be curious, not dogmatic.
10. Ask questions instead of making pronouncements.
11. Be solid in your own truth and let the truths of others show up however they will.
12. Don’t take the bait. Keep calm
13. Know that evolution is messy.
Always remember We can do better that this.
We must do better than this.
Can I just be the first person to say that all of the above will be MUCH easier
if the people I want to win actually win!
If they don't,
it will be really hard!
it will be really hard!
Whoever said democracy would be easy?
I'll try, dammit, I'll try!