Election Day

Back in 1990, I ran for State Senate and I was not elected. As disappointed as I was, the next day, the sun came out, the birds sang, and life continued. And ironically, my life has been more fulfilling than I think would have been possible had I been elected.

This year has been an extremely contentious political campaign season. But as difficult as it has been, it’s not the worst in our country’s history. In the election between Jefferson and Adams in 1796, it has been reported that Adams accused Jefferson of being the son of a half-breed Indian and a mulatto father and that his election would result in “a national orgy of rape, incest and adultery.” In the election of 1856, Millard Fillmore (who was defeated by James Buchanan) ignored slavery and was anti-immigration stating that immigrants would be pro-Vatican and the Pope would take over the United States.

It seems that in many campaigns - Presidential, national, state and local - the candidates spend the majority of their efforts trying to make their opponent look bad and ignore the real issues of their constituency.

Yet, regardless of the result of this year’s election, life will go on.

Because this is a contentious presidential race, a great number of people are under a great amount of stress. The media is calling it election stress disorder. According to a poll conducted by the American Psychological Association, 52% of people said the election was a very or somewhat significant source of stress in their lives.

Regardless of the results of any of the campaigns, I plan to spend the day after the election in a place of gratitude. I will focus and meditate on the important things in my life: my children, my grandchildren, my siblings and my friends. And, I plan on making an extra effort to be kind to everyone I see. I plan to show random acts of kindness; such as letting people behind me in the grocery line go in front of me and waving in that person who wants to merge into the lane I’m driving in.

As you walk through your day, I encourage you to show small kindnesses to those around you. These small gestures will help us all come together, heal and move forward. It’s time to put aside differences and show love to all humans, regardless of their political persuasion.

I hope you remember– whether your candidates win or lose – that we are all citizens of the greatest country on earth and that we are in this thing called ‘life’ together. Truly, we all are members of the human family.

I’d like to close with week’s blog with a poem by Maya Angelou:

Human Family

I note the obvious differences in the human family.

Some of us are serious, some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived as true profundity,

and others claim they really live the real reality.

The variety of our skin tones can confuse, bemuse, delight,

brown and pink and beige and purple, tan and blue and white.

I've sailed upon the seven seas and stopped in every land,

I've seen the wonders of the world not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women called Jane and Mary Jane,

but I've not seen any two who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different although their features jibe,

and lovers think quite different thoughts while lying side by side.

We love and lose in China, we weep on England's moors,

and laugh and moan in Guinea, and thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland, are born and die in Maine.

In minor ways we differ, in major we're the same.

I note the obvious differences between each sort and type,

but we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.

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