I am writing this on Tuesday, not knowing who the next President of the United States will be. To be honest, at this point I am just ready for the whole thing to be over with and I am willing to bet you are too. The constant darkness, hatred, finger-pointing, and name-calling I see on social media has made me pause to think about what I can do about all of it.
I see my clients struggling, my friends and family, even people I do not know. The internet is claiming this is the end of times, the "season finale" of America. I do not think there has been a comparable time in history where the two major candidates have been so hated by not just the American people, but by the world.
It is easy to get bogged down by it all. To want to move to Canada, Europe or some remote island where the shame of this election will not follow. It is easy to feel hopeless and helpless; like there is nothing you can do to make even the smallest difference in the political atmosphere right now. It is easy to feel small and meaningless.
I want to encourage you to fight against those feelings. Irrelevant to the side that we are on or the candidate that comes into power most of us want one key thing: to see the world be a better place. How do we make the world a better place, you ask? Simple: be the change.
I have shared this poem on the blog before, but I want to share it again as it is so powerful to me. A major reminder that no matter how small I am, no matter how inconsequential it may feel to be just one person, I can make a difference. You can make a difference.
"When I was young, I wanted to change the world.
I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.
When I found I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town.
I couldn't change the town and when I got older, I tried to change my family.
Now as I am old I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself,
I could have made an impact on my family.
My family and I could have made an impact on our town.
Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world."
At the end of the day, all we have control over is ourselves. How we respond to things, situations and people, how we behave with one another, and how we treat ourselves. Life does not have to feel hopeless right now. Instead it can be full of choice. The choice to be kind, the choice to show love, the choice to be compassionate, the choice to be connected with one another.
The choice is ours to make and starts at the individual level. Each of us, as tiny pieces of the larger picture, have the power to make the world a better place. We have the power to change the world solely by changing ourselves.
When the bigger picture becomes a little too overwhelming, I remind myself that although I am only one person, I can bring kindness, openness, and love into my world and into our world. I can be the change and so can you.