Today it seems we are not allowed to be different or have a difference in opinion. If we do we can expect a backlash of how wrong we are and how could we be so limited. We talk about equal rights and loving one another regardless of differences, respecting one another to live the life we all have a right to live and yet we don’t honor that. We don’t uphold that at all if it is different than how we think it should be done. We really don’t seem to allow for room of everyone not believing, thinking or seeing things the same way as we do. Scroll through any social media to see what I mean. Better yet post something political and see the outrage it generates – regardless of which side your vote!
This is an election year and yet it seems we have been living in the times of elections endlessly for years! We have let our opinion of who is in office or our government drive us apart from another. The comments and blasting of how unjust it all is and what it all means is everywhere with everyone shouting their beliefs are how we should live and be governed. Right or left it doesn’t matter because there is accusations, meanness and flat out offensive behavior on both sides. We are not respecting one another’s right to differing views on a political level. We are not listening at all to one another for how to fix the problems in our country or how to move forward in a positive future. We are all focused on our own views of what is right and wrong, what is left and what is right. What we need and screw the other guy as long as we get our share.
There’s an old line of wisdom that says we should never discuss religion or politics with family and friends. We should respect one another’s opinions and anticipate we will be different but love one another enough to let each live as they see right. These words of wisdom have spared many a fight and argument. However, ignoring that we are different doesn’t make it anymore accepted or us any more able to listen to a difference in opinion and belief. We find ourselves becoming defensive, angry, accusatory and ready to shred that relationship over a difference in belief and worldview. for some reason the political landscape of our government has turned into a daily passion we have that is causing us to blame, separate, isolate and behave in ways that is tearing apart the fabric of our families, friends and communities. It is a very sad state to see a relationship end because we cannot respectfully listen, talk through and find ways to develop common ground.
How something like who our president is has become such a hotbed of angst for so many in our society is mind boggling. How have we let this one single job in our country become the propeller to destroy relationships, separate us from friends and taint our views of one another is simply incomprehensible. While I respect everyone has a view of what our government should look like and operate as it is still something that changes every two and four years. Eventually if you don’t like something you can see it change in just a couple years. So why we want to ruin lifelong relationships over it is devastating!
All month I’ve written on this topic of love and I want to say that it too applies to these taboo topics of religion and politics. Love is needed so badly in these areas of conversation and rude comments we are posting on social media slamming one another for differing beliefs. Oh yes we definitely need some love on social media. We have become a people of such high sensitivity and are so easily offended at every little thing that we have left no room for difference or love between us. If we are not of a single mind then we cannot be of a single heart it seems. It is of no wonder we are so lonely, depressed and fill our social media timelines with selfies and offensive political commentary. We have isolated ourselves to the point no one can truly know who we are or accept us for being different than they are.
Regardless of how you vote, I encourage you to take perspective. Well first take a deep breath but then quietly put aside your viewpoints and consider another. I don’t ask this to change what you think or belief is right but to consider there is an opportunity for us to identify that common ground that once made our country great. One side is not entirely right or wrong. One side is not the complete answer. One side is not all that we need or should be governed by. The problems of our country and future we will have is not entirely fixed by one side, one view or one agenda. The foundation of our country was formed to allow for differences to co-exist and be respected.
If we truly want to heal our country then it starts with healing our own self and our tongue while being willing to accept we are all different and it is okay. We were not meant to be the same. We were not made to think alike or share the same views. We need to learn to put aside the pettiness and stop being so easily offended so we can see what the other is saying. The things we say offend us are sometimes an excuse to avoid those things we don’t want to talk about and yet we so desperately need to talk about them. We need to stop letting political differences drive a wedge between us because we can change our political landscape much easier than we can rebuild our relationships.
As we become bombarded with political ads, shouting of rights and wrongs, let us not be caught up in it. Let it be a time when we take stock, truly listen and vote with our heart and mind aligned for what it right for us, our family, our community and our country. Let us be informed and not just influenced. Be an influence for free thought, free will and openness to differences that can form us to be a better people, better country and better society.
When I read some of the political things my friends post and find myself disagreeing with them I have to stop myself from quick replying. I have also had to stop myself form posting something directly opposite from what they are saying to prove my way is better than theirs. I’ve stopped myself because acting on those impulses is fueling the problem not healing it. If someone has so much rage in them over who our president is or should be then they should let that out so they feel better. However, it should be done in a way that doesn’t destroy relationships, accuse another of being wrong or stupid or ignorant because they don’t agree.
The first time I was old enough to vote I remember my foster parent advising me on how to do it. She talked me through what it was like at the polling booth and what I would do while in there. She told me though before I go there I needed to be informed about what I was doing. I needed to do my own research and learn about the issues I would be voting on. If I only listened to the news or my friends than I would be hearing the whole story and I could be mis-using my right and responsibility to vote. If it was serious enough for me to vote on then it was serious enough for me to be able to form my own opinion on for what was right. I have carried that advice with me every election year and now I pass it on to you. Don’t let the shouts distract you from getting down to the real truth of the matter. Don’t let the social media and news influence you or convince you their view is the only view you should follow. Be your own voice and inform yourself rather than be influenced. Be convinced in your own heart and mind.
I personally also encourage us to use some doTERRA Forgive and Balance. These are my two election year oils to support us all calming down, thinking and working to build commonality respectfully among our differences. Our government has endured many people that were disliked, unpopular or did things that were less than for the common good of mankind. Yet it has persisted. It has evolved and changed and endured to govern us in a way that best reflects who we are and what we are about as a country. Right now who we are as a country looks rather mad, angry and full of accusatory finger pointing with no one listening or accepting each other.
As we think about our future do we want that to persist? Before we respond, comment, post or inflict our opinions on another let’s practice a little forgiveness and balance to ourselves and our friends to see if there isn’t a better way.
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