Here in Wisconsin, folks are taking this presidential election very seriously, but not always respectfully.
Yesterday I was outside when my neighbor called me over to the fence. He was grinning and shaking his head from side to side. Laughing he told me that someone had stolen his candidate yard sign. He continued to chuckle as he explained that the culprit had just wasted his time; he was going to go and get another one right away. Then he got a bit more serious.
He began to tell me how he feels that people need to understand and respect one another’s point of view in our country. He and his lovely wife are from another country; they came to the United States as a young couple and worked hard to become citizens. He served many years in the Air Force and she is a teacher. They raised two great kids who are now adults. This gentleman went on to say what a privilege it is that we get to choose, how he feels we need to have constructive discussions about what our options are and to support one another. He told me that one of his children will vote for one candidate and the other child for the opposition. He is so proud of both of them for taking the opportunity to learn what the candidates stand for and then voting their conscience. In short, while he supports his candidate adamantly, he supports positive respect for each candidate most of all. Needless to say, he doesn’t need any lesson from this life coach.
Ironically, last night I got a visit from a woman I‚ have known almost all of my life. She brought up the election as well; I think she had noticed the candidate sign in my yard. While we were chatting, she asked my why I had made my selection and if I was steadfast in that decision. It turns out that she is truly undecided at this point. This is a very smart woman, however she does not read very well. Because she wants to make a wise decision about the election she has been watching interviews on television, taking note of the advertisements and trying to ask other people what their viewpoint is and why they feel as they do.
Unfortunately, for the most part, she has received a pretty poor response. She told me that some people have actually shouted at her for even considering the candidate they are not supporting. Still, she persists in trying to learn as much as she can. Of course I saw this as a great opportunity to share what information I have about each candidate, and explained once again that my viewpoint is undoubtedly biased as I have made my decision. We talked about options for quite some time and I’m so happy to say she feels justified in trying to have civil conversations about politics with people that she respects, and she will continue to do so. Congrats to her for trying to educate herself while she makes a decision. She is taking positive action and I love that I was able to be a small part of that action.
Both of these wonderful people have offered a valuable lesson. They each feel powerful responsibility to make good choices. Each knows and believes that they will share and learn the most, if they are respectful and positive. They continue to share the belief with everyone else they speak to. I’m proud and grateful to know both of these people.
My wish for you is that you are surrounded and uplifted by respectful, positive, fabulous people.