November 7, 2012

REFLECTIONS ON ELECTIONS

Last evening I sat for a long time at the table with my ballot. Feeling the privilege, yet also wondering how free we really are; how much are we being manipulated into thinking we are free? If there are so many lies that are blatant, how many are sliding silkily through our lives undetected? Did I want to vote for the Justice Party, a party that reflects my deeply held beliefs? Was that really throwing away my privilege as some have said to me, or was this what this privilege is really all about? Talk about an undecided voter!

I thought about my commitment to walk the path of Love. If I am going to be one who bears Light in the world, if I am going to keep my feet to this pathway of Love that I have chosen, then I have to once again lay aside my fear and my cynicism and my judgment. I have to see the light in others, no matter how obscured, to see their goodness no matter how it has been twisted up in fear or buried under cruelty. In the same way that I must be willing to challenge my ignorance and make amends when I realize that that ignorance has caused harm, I must see the precious value of others who do harm because of their ignorance…and hope that they too will find their way to greater light.

I finally picked up the pen, and with gratitude for the privilege to be sitting at that table without having had to wait in line or suffer harassment; and with gratitude that I held a legitimate ballot; and with gratitude that even though I wish for a much different kind of political system–at least we still have one…I gave my President the benefit of the doubt and voted to give him four more years…and I filled in the circle that asks my Representative to please pack his things and go home–he’s done enough harm…and I firmly said No! to the convoluted message that would pass itself off as “righteousness” when every syllable of it’s message drips with arrogant judgment, separatism and superiority, and deeply biased ethnocentrism being packaged as the will of a Supreme Being. And one last No! to the thinly disguised attempt to suppress this very privilege I have to sit here and fill in this circle on this ballot.

In the dark hours of the new morning on the day my Dad would have been 85 I listened to my now and future President encourage us to view our political system with its fierce arguments and differing opinions and sheer (stinking) messiness (I had to add stinking!) not as something awful, or broken, but as what indicates that we are a people who live in a nation that is free. We get to argue. We get to debate and disagree. We get to “duke it out” so-to-speak. We get to sit at tables or step into booths and cast a vote for a man or woman or for or against an issue. We get to have and to express our opinion. Interesting perspective. I wonder what my Dad would say about all of this.

As he did four years ago, President Obama talked about working together to solve our problems and to build our nation. May it be so. May it be that we will learn to move beyond the privilege of holding onto our precious opinions and argue until we all grow old and die. May it be that we learn to listen. To listen deeply to one another. To open our hearts and minds to the solutions that will heal our Earth and one another and our world.

And may we rise to the call of our President…that our work, my work, your work, does not end with the closing of the polls and disposing of the yard signs. Our work has just begun. The time for arguing is finished. Now we work to create solutions and to heal all that our fierce fighting has destroyed and recreate the world so all may thrive. It begins within our own hearts. It must.

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