Let Freedom Ring. This is an AMAZING election period.

To me, it’s glaringly obvious that what is going on throughout this election period is merely reflecting what’s going on in our society. Because it’s so obvious this election season, is what makes this amazing, instead of desperate, or sad, or terrible as most think.  It can be all of that and amazing, because of the opportunity it provides those who are willing to look directly at what’s underneath all of the deep emotions erupting.

Erupting it is. Look at our entertainment media, the proliferation of reality TV shows, how children are being treated and are treating each other, how we are treating our fellow living beings, our sense of humor, how we attempt to connect to each other (or rather, don’t). Why would we expect anything else from the people involved in the elections?

Everyone speaks as if “politics” exists outside of the rest of the world.  I believe it’s merely a reflection of the world, providing us with clear insights into what’s going on with people. We’re all in a constant cycle of “symptoms management” … people need jobs, we need to stop bullying, we need to do “xyz”.  I don’t see anyone looking deeper into the core, human-based issues.

What if all of this was best addressed by each of us coming to a place in which we fully understand our own needs, understand others have the same core needs, and we learn to connect and communicate in new ways.

People want to relate to the candidates as people, and to know that they are understood.  Yet until something changes at the core level of society, would people even listen to or respect someone who is not “speaking” to them in a way they are familiar with as we see it so much in our media?

What we do know is that whatever is being said is not compelling enough to make much of a difference in the polls, especially with the variances we’re seeing, and oft-equal race.

The only way to change the election and the political rhetoric, which has needed to change for a very long time, is to change the way we view elections …. to change our role in them from citizens to media ….. and most importantly, from the top down, to learn new ways of understanding people and how to connect with them.

So again maybe this is what needs to change ….. how we connect and communicate.  It’s not just about laying out the “issues” which are really symptoms of what’s going on in humans; it’s about truly understanding the needs of the people, letting them know this, and having a plan to address the core, underlying issues, not just symptoms management.

img_20111107_151805_c2The world is no longer the way it used to be.  People are no longer sure of where they fit, if they fit, what their future may be like, if they have a future. Nothing is very familiar anymore. So many are living in fear, feeling hopeless.

Sometimes it seems as if we’ve lost focus on the “people”; the ones our public servants are supposed to be committed to.

As humans, we share many basic needs. The people … that’s US .. aren’t willing to live in denial anymore. They are speaking up and saying:  “I matter, I count, I want to know that my needs will be valued.  Someone hear me, someone see me. Let me know that I and my family and friends will be okay. Show me what will change because whatever is being done hasn’t been working; and whatever is being said doesn’t sound like much will change.”

It’s as if we ripped the bandage off a number of bleeding and gaping wounds; so that they can air out and truly heal. We live in a country which values our freedom, and especially our freedom of speech. AWESOME … people are speaking out.   While we may not always like or agree with what others are saying, I prefer the dialogue versus everyone silently suffering, like some type of futuristic movie or similar to some countries today where people aren’t allowed to speak out.

In the “Hay” copy of the Gettysburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln stated:

“… that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

People are saying, “enough”. Isn’t this how our country was created?  The old system clearly wasn’t working; as it also isn’t now. This refers to BOTH the political and business systems. While people want to change; they often are afraid of change, as is human nature.

Of course, the “old system”, the familiar way of doing things isn’t working. It hasn’t worked for a long time; collectively, we haven’t been willing to face it, let alone let it show.  The world has changed, and continues to change on a regular basis. Like it or not, we exist in a global economic environment.  Our exponential advances in technology insure life on this planet is not stagnant. I listen to newscasters pick apart every tiny detail, which is sometimes useful, and other times just perpetuates the myth that we can return to whence we were. As the saying goes, “there is no going back”.

WE ARE BIRTHING a “new” freedom … if we all come together (regardless of who wins), and we are willing to change how we do things.  Most know birthing pains can be hard; we’re at the early stages.

As a society, this is our opportunity to identify where we are collectively, and create a new future, for all of us.  Let’s start by looking at the huge mirror of the election reflecting what’s going on in our society as well as what’s going on within us as individuals:

  • People are unhappy; they struggle just to get through day-to-day
  • There isn’t a lot of familiarity in today’s world which causes a lot of fear and discomfort;
  • People are edgy and so reactive to each other; so much is taken personally when it really isn’t;
  • We make things personal, when they aren’t; they merely have to do with what’s going on with the ones making an attack;
  • We are being challenged, each one of us, to identify what really drives us, what motivates us, what’s important to us .. and to no longer just sit by while others are making decisions for us;
  • We are longing for some equality and consistency of how situations are viewed, and how people are treated;
  • We want to know OUR needs are being taken care of.

It’s almost as if the louder the public speaks, the more the candidates (at all levels) react instead of respond.  Based on what’s happening, our daily news could be compared to getting the latest update of what’s happening in a school yard, or school election. Where is the leadership in the media; they also seem to be primarily in reactive mode.   The media focus seems to be on reacting to what the other candidate is doing, or not doing, saying or not saying … very little of which is proactive.  Now, think about that … imagine running for a school office and saying, “Vote for me because I won’t screw you over.”

img_20111107_162504_c2Don’t we want to vote for the representative who is telling us what they are going to do for us, and exactly how they’re going to do it?  I’ve read the websites. A lot of effort went into them, but so much seems like just more words.

If anyone wants to change how they view the world, I’d highly suggest these three books (get them now and read them right away) plus some classes:

There’s still time, even with just a few days left in the election. I’d love to see the following:

  • Here’s a first suggestion … PLEASE stop talking about the other person’s flaws or shortcomings for the role.  We’ve all heard them; they aren’t making a real difference
  • Someone talk about the qualities which is important to a role, and especially to the role of President of the United States of America. Here’s my list:
    • Self-aware and is actively on a path to further their understanding of themselves
    • A person who listens, and is teachable
    • Someone who can handle themselves under pressure with equanimity
    • An experienced bridge-builder
    • Is willing to really admit when they were “wrong”, and possibly risk losing it all by doing so
    • Is comfortable in their own quietness, and allows situations to organically unfold, when the situation would benefit from this
    • Realizes and responds in such a fashion that they understand that even when something sounds personal or feels personal, it’s not personal
    • Always takes the high road, and refuses to make any pot shot “snarky” comments about others, and encourages all around them to do the same
    • Intelligent, and resourceful
    • Knowledgeable of the issues, both national and internationally
    • Willingness to go against the way it’s always been done (because clearly that’s not working so well)
    • An ability to see the “bigger picture” and to understand the impact on real human lives of the execution of their decisions
  • Candidates (and their “surrogates”) focus SOLELY on the issues and the specifics of what they are going to do
    • By now, I think we’ve all heard enough about what the “other side” has or hasn’t done
  • Each candidate publish three attributes which they appreciate about the “opposing candidate”.  I’ll start that off:
    • Secretary Hillary Clinton has a breadth of experience starting with a passion for helping others
    • Mr. Donald Trump is a savvy, smart man
  • Each candidate publish three concrete things they will do to work with the opposing candidate, if they win, and if they lose
    • And this doesn’t mean the benign political comments such as, “I’ll strive to work with the other party in a way which works for all concerned”; I mean things such as, “I want to actively work on ‘xyz’ issue which is important to me, whether I win or lose; and I would like to be on an advisory committee to do ‘xyz'”, or some such

So, come on, who wants to step up and change the way we connect and communicate, during and following this very important election?

A short note on comments: I am a firm supporter of freedom of speech. That said, I also ask that people make their comments productive and not make personal attacks on others.  I do appreciate your willingness to focus your passions in constructive ways.  Thank you ~ Laurel

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