Tag Archives: politics

Is it Your Lucky Day?

 

I went to the library the other day. I needed a book to help me escape, to “not think”, a place to go other than the political news shows and the internet.  I wanted to laugh.

I walk into the library and ask the woman at the front desk…”I need a fun book, where should I look?”  She pointed me over to the newer best sellers.  I saw books about politics and Steve Jobs and ….ugh.  I knew she didn’t get what I meant.  I started to feel a little lost and then she shouted out…”Oh, a YLD book came in!”  I didn’t know who she was talking to so I asked, “excuse me?” She said, “A YLD book came in!” with a big grin on her face.  I said, “What’s a YLD book?” and she said, “It means, it’s YOUR LUCKY DAY!!!! ”

Woo hoo!  My lucky day!  BRING IT!  She explained that these YLD books are never available and if they are, well then, no doubt about it…it’s your lucky day!

Honestly, I barely looked at the book.  I tore out my library card and tried to get out of there fast before someone tried to steal my book and ruin my lucky day.

Speaking of lucky days…Election Day is November 6th.

November 7th is going to be someone’s lucky day.

I know people are out there saying, “It’s not luck, so and so deserves to be president.”

I get it.  I have an opinion.  I care.  I feel strongly.  I will vote.  Then I will watch and count and try to figure out how my guy can win.  Then I will go to sleep and it will be fitful and anxious sleep.  I will be uncomfortable, flipping channels in my dreams, still counting, still wondering, still hoping.  In the morning we will know.  Maybe.  Or maybe there will be lawsuits and talk of hanging chads.  Oh, never mind, that’s the past…a different time, a different night (week? month?) of fitful sleep.

Here’s what I want to remember.  When we wake up that next morning or whenever we find out who won the presidential election…HALF of the country will be disappointed.

HALF.

50%.

This means your neighbor.

I repeat.  HALF of this country will be disappointed.  Either way.

I have said there are two Americas.

But I’ve thought about that now and I want to take it back.  There is one America.  And it’s beautiful and strong and I am so grateful to live here.  There is one America.

Your neighbor may vote for “the other guy”.  Your neighbor may have a yard sign you don’t like.  Your neighbor may not wave to you in the carpool line on Wednesday.  Your neighbor may have hoped and prayed the night before for the opposite of what you hoped and prayed for.  It’s okay.  She’s still your neighbor.

She’s still your neighbor…the one who brought you a casserole when you moved in.  The one who drove your kids to their activities when you were sick.  The neighbor who gives tirelessly at church or who runs the PTA.  This is your neighbor who you have known for 15 years and always thought was such a good mom and a good friend.  This is the neighbor who knows when to bring wine and when to bring chocolate and she usually shows up with both!  This is your friend.  You love her kids and her husband.  You admire how she handles working full time and raising a family.

Or maybe you don’t know her but have always wanted to.  Maybe she smiles at you when she walks the dog or keeps a beautiful garden that you’ve always admired.  Maybe she works at the coffee shop or the dry cleaner.  Maybe you just see her in passing but she’s friendly and kind.

Maybe she’s the mom that’s fought tirelessly for the kids with special needs.  Maybe your kids have benifitted from her advocacy.  Maybe she’s the teacher who took extra time to help your daughter or the parent who serves on the school board.

Maybe she’s the neighbor that came and sat with you when your mother died or when your child was sick.  Maybe she’s the person you call when you need a hand or a hammer or a cup of sugar.  Maybe she’s the one you call when you just need to talk.  Maybe she’s the friend who invited you to church.

Or maybe it’s your dad.  Your dad who has loved you since the day you were born.  Maybe he can’t even sleep he’s in such a tizzy about the election.  Maybe you are worried about his health.

Maybe it’s the military family down the road who lost a son in the war.  Or maybe it’s a mother whose son is away on active duty now and she is terrified and wants him home.

Maybe it’s your brother whose business has fallen on hard times.  He’s worried about payroll and health care benefits.  He’s trying to survive.

You get the point.  The list goes on.

We are all neighbors.  We are all Americans.

So, here’s my plan for November 7th … smile and wave at my neighbor…no matter who wins and no matter who she hoped would win…because I like her.  She’s a good person…a good American…and we need each other.

God bless my neighbor.  And God bless the United States of America.

 

Romans 13:9 “whatever other commandments there may be, are summed up in this one rule:  ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

(I love to throw that in wherever I can 🙂 It simplifies things for me when I start to get confused by the external noise. )

Here’s a video/song for fun.  Turn it up people.  Trust me.  Turn it up and remember…we are blessed.

©2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved
image of flag from google images and http://cajuncottage.blogspot.com/
youtube video by http://www.youtube.com/user/RavenReality
Picture of book by me.  My lucky day! courtesy of Thomas Ford Memorial Library 🙂

 

 

Breaking Bread Together

Do you have friends that think differently than you do about politics?

Unfortunately, a lot of us would say “no” to that question. I think we seek people out that agree with us so we feel good about what we think. We look for friends that agree with us on major topics such as politics and religion.

This is why there is such a massive divide in our country on these topics. We don’t know anyone who has a different point of view so we can make the other side “evil” – we take the humanity out of our opponents so we can hate them.

I used to have a boss that made us eat together as a team because she said it’s important to “break bread” together. This is really wise.

When you eat together and share your stories, you become friends. You could spend years breaking bread together and laughing and talking and listening without ever bringing up the topics of religion or politics. I love this because over the eating and sharing, a trust is developed. There is a give and take in the relationship. You become comfortable with one another.

When you have a relationship that is built on time spent together talking about everything else – the weather, sports, shopping, cooking, TV, movies, music, kids, jobs, jokes, restaurants, books – you are solid enough to bring up the tough stuff.

We are not only our political beliefs or only our religious affiliations. We are so much more than that!

We all have SO MUCH in common. We all want to be loved and understood. We want to have a voice and we want to have power in our personal lives. We all want to be healthy and whole. We want to be validated as worthy and important. We look for pleasure and laughter and joy. We want to share hope and healing. We love our country and we love our families. We struggle in relationships. We worry about our kids and our parents and our homes and our marriages. We are grateful and funny sometimes and conflicted and anxious at other times. We all laugh and we all cry. At our core we are all good people.

When we talk to each other and just hang out together, we see all the things we have in common. We bond. We realize everyone is doing the best they can with what they have. We wish each other well.

If we have this kind of a start as friends and we find out we think differently on a topic like religion or politics, we will be able to give each other the benefit of the doubt. We will not be filled with anger and hatred toward the other person because we have a history of common interests and shared stories.

In fact, I think we will finally have a chance to really hear the other side if this happens because we will let the other person talk. We may say to ourselves, “I don’t agree but I like this person and I respect what they have to say”, instead of what’s so common today which is total anger and hatred toward anyone who thinks differently than you.

We have demonized the other side. This is especially true when discussing politics in this country. We are in gridlock. We are making ourselves sick with hatred.

We can blame the media and the pundits and the venom that is spewed daily in Washington and around the country. We can get really mad and retreat from society. We can attack people and demand they tell us which side they are on so we can label them and turn them into the bad guy. We can isolate ourselves in a self-righteous haze of judgment and condemnation.

Or, I have a better idea…we can encourage people of all beliefs to “break bread” together.  I think it’s the only way we will stop spewing and start sharing…our lives, our dreams, our struggles, and eventually, when the time is right, we can share our political and religious beliefs. By then it will be okay. We will be friends.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

 
©2011 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved