The OTHER Choices You Are Making this Election


This election season seems to have been particularly trying.  In ways that I do not remember.   Of course, it also seems that my memory is not what it used to be.  Why am I at the computer again? 

Oh yes, this election has had and continues to have so much energy, it is pulling people, squeezing out the hard, built up apathy and inertia.  A deluge of thoughts and feelings are being thrown around flooding the thoughtfields.  I am experiencing it like some serious weather.  A hurricane or a tornado of sorts.  Can’t get away, nowhere to hide, hard to breathe.  And it is a bit scary and painful.  Not sure what will be left of my life when it is ‘over’. 

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I hear talk of choices, “If you do choose this, you are actually choosing something (someone) else.”  “The choices both are horrible” (sometimes with one being more horrible being thrown in).  “One is dishonest, the other uniformed, spewing all kinds of rhetoric without much of what is said based in fact.” I hear it being said over and over by my friends, almost everyone on facebook, the media and the comics I think are so funny.

I hear so much ‘they’.  They are this and they are that.

So who is they?

They is you.  At least to the other person.

In this time when the people who have risen to the top (however it actually happened) is what we have to deal with, we get to ask why.  We feel so much more comfortable when it is ‘their’ fault.  However, what I know to be true is that we are all a part of this, somehow. 

I would like to consider this in a bit smaller context.  If we were talking permaculture, I would be saying consider this hyperlocally, or zone 1. 

I am asking you to consider how you have been being during this election season.  How much listening have you done?  Actually listening for the deeper fears – under all the stories of what is showing up ~ for all the people you disagree with?  How much dialogue have you even considered. 

I’m not even suggesting that dialogue is possible.  I am curious if have you even tried offering empathy to those who are saying and doing things that you really, really don't like?  This is when it really matters, when we might really make a difference, when we can discover how committed to understanding, compassion and nonviolence we really are.

How much of the name calling, forcing your opinion as truth, hoping to drive the outcome you want, have you engaged in? 

It seems so easy this time.  So obvious that ‘they’ are doing it.  I wonder if you might take a breath and see if you can notice when you are ‘doing it’. 

In this election, I wonder if we all have lost a bit of our own compassion, our own values, our own open-heartedness.

For me, that is a choice.  And if you choose to lose this in yourself, what is (has been) the cost?