I love this country.
I wish I had a way to hold our collective hands, smile into each pair of eyes,
and whisper tender and strong,
“hey, this is so not you.”
You aren’t defined by this – the hurtful ads and jabs
and manipulative campaigns that saturate our feeds
until we’re forced to look away or go hard inside
so the poison doesn’t scald what we need to keep on living.
I want to plead, “Do you see the children watching? They can hear us.”
What are they taking in as we demonize and degrade the ones who’ve stepped into the arena
while we project our bias and turn down our thumbs with words increasingly lethal and obscene.
I want to look over at the young ones and say “it’s okay, we’re good,” and then invite us all
to sit down together
at a table groaning with good coffee and wine and really yummy things
and make it safe to let our hearts speak,
to say our reasons and share our other-ness
without shame or defensiveness or assumption.
Because, for the love, we are spirit and bone and soul and skin
and it’s clear that this political machine doesn’t care who or what it grinds up
as it slashes through the airwaves,
feeding on our wounds and rage.
Much of what our eyes and ears get scraped across in the media
isn’t genuine news or even politics.
It’s emotional abuse.
So we buy into the lie that there is a monster to be exposed,
goaded into to battle, gladiator-style, until the arena is soaked in blood
and even though it’s our collective blood that gets spilled
because this is how progress is done, yes?
This is not who we are.
I know smart, big-hearted, wide-thinking, and deeply feeling people
who plan to vote for each camp. They really aren’t happy about this.
They don’t love their particular choice
but will make it because they see something in this specific platform,
among all that they dislike about the candidate,
that compels them to follow their heart and place their vote for this ticket
What might we discover by having meaningful conversations with our egos checked?
By engaging in inquisitive and respectful dialogue with other hearts
in order to listen wide.
By pursuing the meat of it, not in debate, but to hear the heart
of what is it that you want?
What is the hope that you are voicing with your vote?
By hearing deep their reasons and finding them maybe also valid
and worthy of respect.
Someone is going to win this election and our kids are going to have to find a way to function
in a country where a demonized-as-dangerous figure head
has become their President. We all will.
Will we be able to build and create more than we’ve destroyed and torn down?
I’m holding onto big hope that we will look back on this election as a tipping point in history
where we were shaken sober to become a civil, more noble society.
I’ll go and place my vote.
And, yes, I’ll likely throw up in my mouth a little bit while I pull the lever.
But I won’t give the political machine any more of my power
by buying into the hateful spirit it encourages.
Imagine a diverse community of people who respect the individual enough to listen and know,
rather than assume or reject or attack.
We will build this sacred space yet, I believe…..regardless of who wins this election.
Neither of these candidates will save us.
But, oh, there is a field….
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”
“If we want to know, love and experience community,
if we want to be part of creating a more peaceful world, we will work to understand this:
Either everyone is special, or no one is.
Putting yourself or another human being on a pedestal
– making yourself or someone else right all the time –
is a sure recipe for disappointment or conflict or loneliness.”
– Elizabeth Lesser