I’ve now participated in over 12 elections, voting for some democrats, as well as several Republicans.
Each election was more contentious than the one before, as politicians fought over the 2-5% of the population that isn’t firmly entrenched and divided.
This saddens me. There has to be a better way. Maybe it’s not the politicians who need to change, but us, the electorate. Politicians simply mirror the people, and we are a deeply divided nation.
So, I’ve set a goal to create peace in my own little corner of the world through three pacts:
1) Judgement Free:
I commit to stop criticizing others, period. I did better with this in 2016, but still have a long way to go.
Yes, I will retain my strong opinions, beliefs and ideas. But the difference between an opinion and a judgement is dangerous.
Opinions are personal, they are about me or what I believe. Judgements are about others, or what others believe. Lets keep opinions, but drop ALL judgement.
Speak of the great things about your party, candidate or sports team, without making the other side/team wrong for theirs.
2) Positive Perspectives:
I commit to seeing only the good in others, even if I don’t agree with them. Rather than criticism, I will point out compassionate and more kind ways of sharing opinions, on both sides of the aisle.
And no matter what happens, I commit to look for the good in it.
I will replace negative views with a simple practice: assume positive intent. Assume the other person, political party, entity, or group meant well, even if I don’t agree with their actions or beliefs.
3) Appreciation Rules:
I commit to making appreciation a daily practice. I’ve scheduled an “appreciation break” on my calendar each day so the very act of appreciation becomes a habit. I will find things to appreciate, daily.
Please join me in this Peace Pact! If there is a better way, it must start with each of us.