(Have Your Political Opinion and Friends Too (Part 2))
Today is the big day! Election day!
Aren’t you excited?!
No?…Me either. So, let’s talk it out, Friends.
The United States is divided. But guess what. We have always been divided. This is not new. The tension between division and unity is the beauty of the great American experiment. This is the way a republicsome say democracy works!
Lean in. Listen closely.
We can do this. We can all still be friends. Do not fear.
Division has always been and it always will be. My husband just spent three days walking the battlefields of Vicksburg. He was conflicted to read of the passionate beliefs of Civil War Chaplains on both sides of the war. Both sides believed they were right and ordained by God Almighty to preserve truth.
I also have been reminded of this fact recently. For about six months now I’ve been obsessively listening to the Broadway musical Hamilton. This is a story of Alexander Hamilton, one of our nation’s founding fathers. It has been a great reminder of the violent contention our founders experienced as they created and fought for this new union.
The relationship of, once friends, Aaron Burr and Alexander ended in death by duel. Devastatingly, the bitterness and pride was handed down to Hamilton’s son. Phillip died just as his father, by bullet.
These were our founders. They were not holy men. They were men of genius, talent, and drive, but also, very human. What we have seen this election has been no less a picture of below mediocre humanity, to say it gently. That may sound like bad news, but it isn’t! That’s right! There’s hope!
It is hopeful to realize that our nation’s history and present day is full of greatness and destruction. It is hopeful because it is honest. To pretend that America was once great but is no longer is delusional. America is and has always been a mixed bag.
By putting arrogance aside, I think we can all agree that we want this great American experiment to last. And I hope we would all like to do better than our founders who killed others in pursuit of power.
Greatness begins inside of each of us. Greatness might sometimes be found in the oval office, but it is better when it is found around our oval, square, and rectangular kitchen tables. As Jack Johnson says in one of his happy songs, “I’ll tell you one thing, it’s always better when we’re together.”
The time to come together is now. No matter your race, religion, or sexual orientation, gather together. Build a community. Get involved in local political decisions that directly affect each other, and for goodness sakes, let’s care for the poor in our towns!
I have a friend I’m learning a lot from. She is working with neighbors and local policy makers to create laws prohibiting check into cash loan shark businesses from setting up shop in locations that target the poor. If you don’t know why that matters, watch this later (language warning): https://youtu.be/PDylgzybWAw
I would have never known about this severely immoral business if I hadn’t stepped out of my comfortable friendship circle. I met new people that cared about things my tribe didn’t care about and I have learned A LOT!
Together, with friends, new and old, we can gather around our oval tables and make America great together! We can do better than our founders.
Let’s start with these things:
- Call your friend who you’ve hidden from your newsfeed.
- Forgive them for their arrogance, and own it if you need to ask for the same.
- Plan a time to meet up for coffee, beer, whatever.
- Discuss what you can do TOGETHER to make your actual neighborhood a safe and supportive place even for people different from you.
Presidents will come and go, but we will always belong to each other. We need each other and our communities need us.
Let’s move on.
Now, I’m so excited to give away another pair of Red Shoes!!!! To enter, leave a comment with an answer to this big question. What can you and a friend do to make your actual neighborhood or town great? Yes, voting is good, but it is not the end all be all. Comment here on the blog or on any of the social medias. Remember, little acts of kindness are the world changing stuff. Share your idea and the Red Shoes could be yours!
“They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore.”