election hangover

image by Maja Dumat some rights reserved http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I’m a liberal.  I’m sure that’s a shock to most of you, given what I do for a living. *grin* We’re all entitled to our own beliefs, so if you believe differently, I really do believe in your right to live that way and certainly to vote that way.  That’s what democracy is about.

But if you’ll indulge me for a moment, I’m going to talk about election hangover.  And really, this goes for everyone, just not this election cycle.

First: the pendulum swings.  Back and forth, over and over, if you can identify a polarity, the pendulum will move between the endpoints.  It’s physics.  It’s history.  Go take a look.

Second: when the election doesn’t go your way, you have a choice.  I went to the polls yesterday without much hope; I’m actually pleased that the vote here in Maine was as close as it was.  But in some ways, a miss is as good as a mile.  Leadership  I liked is mostly out, leadership I disagree vehemently with is mostly in.  So when that happens, what?

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

Gandhi was right.

Culture changes from the inside out; it is ALWAYS a grassroots movement.  If what you want isn’t happening, it’s because the majority of people out there are believing and living differently from the way you are.  (Or they’re not voting.  That’s a whole different post.)  If you want to change people’s hearts, I honestly don’t believe that happens with massive protests or boycotts; it doesn’t happen in big, loud, public ways.  People don’t respond well to being shouted at.

It happens, instead, one person at a time.  It happens one breath at a time.  It starts with you: living the way you believe.  It starts with you: standing up for what’s right.  It starts with you: holding yourself and people close to you accountable for their behavior; getting curious; asking questions; loving people despite the differences.  It starts with you: being a good example.  It starts with you: changing yourself incrementally, being one flame in the darkness.

Ever watch a candlelight vigil begin at dusk?

First it’s one candle.

Then two.

Then three.

Then tens.

Then fifty or a hundred, and the glow lights up the sky.

It’s time to light your candle.

**

If you need help or support to do it, find people. Find community, find friends, go online. Get a coach; call me or go see Leah–don’t let a sense of isolation or overwhelm keep you from shining. We–the rest of us–need you now more than ever.