Regardless of how your candidates fared in this recent (and ongoing in Florida) election, take heart. Be thankful. We live in a nation that allows free elections and the wisdom of the voter’s rule.
I don’t know what to say to the angry among us. I’ll remind them that his is the way we’ve rolled in the USA for over 200 years. Get out, work hard for your candidate and then leave it to the will of the voters. It is what we’ve always done ... at least until recently.
Protesters harassing politicians in public places. Angry mobs disrupting places of businesses. Bombs arriving in the mail. Opinion commentators and their families being threatened in their homes. It all must stop, or people will die. We see these actions in other nations ... but not ours.
The wisdom of John Wesley
John Wesley was an English cleric and theologian who, with his brother Charles and fellow cleric George Whitefield, founded Methodism. Wesley was a wise man who is often quoted. My favorite Wesley quote is “Do all the good you can, by all the ways you can, in all the places you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.”
How can you argue with those words? Do good and be good.
Apparently, the vitriol of elections, I think beginning in 2000, has ratcheted up to dangerous levels. The anger before the election continues today. Friendships destroyed, families pulled apart and relationships of all kinds damaged. None of us, not one, has all the right answers. Politicians come and go, but friends and family should not. Valuing your candidate’s success or failure above those who love and care about you is not a healthy recipe for a happy life.
What did Wesley have to say about elections?
“I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing elections, and advised them:
"1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy.
"2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against.
"3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.”
I love my friends. I value those who disagree with me as much as those who walk in lock-step with me. Yes, elections are important, but we all should stop buying in to the 24-hour news cycle that screams that this election is the most important in history. Stop listening to candidates that tell you a vote for their opponent is a vote to destroy our country. These extremist claims are not true. They are carefully crafted marketing ploys that work us into a frenzy that is unhealthy for relationships and our nation.
You don’t have to hate either Donald Trump or Nancy Pelosi!
Here are the simple facts. Elections are important. Elections have consequences. However, elections are not permanent. On the national level, they happen every 24 months. If you don’t like the winner, get out and work hard and support their opponent in the next election. Stop whining, complaining and yelling at your friend and neighbor because they disagree. The damage you are causing is to you. You are convincing no one and are usually preaching to your choir. We talk about the importance of diversity in this country and should. Why do our conversations not include diversity of thought?
We usually have a large Thanksgiving in the Moore house. We have family from both coasts as well as the heartland. A few years ago, some of our younger adult members said they would not come if we talked about the recent election of Donald Trump. Some of our family took the position that those people who were complaining should stay away. Arlene and I wanted everyone to attend, so we made the Thanksgiving table politics- and drama-free. I love my family more than politics. If they are hurt after an election, why would my choice me to rub salt in their wounds?
As I write this, Thanksgiving is around the corner. Love your family and friends more than your candidate and ideology. Make this holiday drama-free by not making the election the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving table. Don’t label yourself. Don’t label others. Resist letting your ideology define you as a person. Ideologues do not think for themselves but are led by “group think.” Choose love and compassion over ideology.
We are called upon to love our neighbor as ourselves
Loving your neighbor does not mean only the neighbors who agree with you. Love those who disagree as well as those you don’t even know. We change the world one person at a time. Let’s embrace the wisdom of John Wesley this holiday season and love our friends, family and neighbors regardless of their vote. Let’s change the world through compassion and love, not by yelling, screaming and unfriending those who think differently.
Can we agree that family and friends are more important than politicians and ideology? If so, we are off to a good beginning to our holiday season.