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managing a smile now

Some things that helped…

  1. Jodi’s niece and nephew’s election night cuteness.
  2. Thirteen ways of reacting to an election.
  3. What Pete wrote…

Many of us are feeling badly right now, maybe even to the point of despair about the outcome of the election. Yesterday I was mourning as well. It is good to mourn and feel the despair. Why? Because crisis leads to opportunity.

The times in my life when I felt the most despair were also the times that started a period of great personal growth. Looking back on those times now, I can say they were the best things that ever happened to me. This is the case for many people. Maybe even for you.

Think about it. If Kerry had been elected, many people probably would have sat back, breathed a sigh of relief and went about their lives the way they always have. Now that’s not an option. Now they/we will have to get involved and make a difference. We will have to question our own habits. We will have to question how we live our lives.

For example, if you don’t want drilling in the Alaska wilderness, what are you doing to use less petroleum? Solar Heat? Hybrid car? If you want health care to be more affordable, what are you doing to create your own health? Yoga? Home cooked meals? Daily exercise? What lifestyle changes are you willing to make?

If you don’t want jobs shipped overseas to sweatshops, are you willing to pay more for something made in the USA? If nobody buys sweatshop products, guess what? Stores won’t sell them. Companies will lose money. That will get their attention. They will start making their products in America again for that reason alone.

If you want the government to stay out of your business
(abortion rights, privacy), what are you doing to protect your rights? Education? Outreach? Letters to the editor?
Town Hall meetings?

If you want to end discrimination (against gays, the poor), what are you doing to help their causes? Education? Compassion? Working at a food bank? Getting to know their concerns? Helping them organize?

It’s too easy to let the politicians or doctors or social workers do the work for us. Now we have to do it for ourselves. It may sound difficult to some people, but we will realize so much growth for doing it. Take a good look at your life. Think about how it could be. Think about what your perfect life looks like, the perfect world. Now make it happen. It’s up to you. It’s up to me. John Kerry isn’t going to do it. Bush certainly won’t.

In a few years we will all look back on this election and say it was the catalyst that started a period of great change that made the world a better place. And we helped make it happen. We were shaken from our complacency and we changed the world.

Everything’s connected. Remember Who You Are…