What Does Love Have To Do With Politics?
Why does it seem like we wait for someone to die before we sing their praises?
Wouldn’t it be nice for people to know all the lovely things we think and feel about them during life rather than waiting to memorialize them at their grave?
Nancy Reagan’s recent death spurred a lot of wonderful commentary about her life, the work she and President Reagan did together, and their beautiful and loving partnership. So many people, old and young, political and not, came out of the woodwork to comment on the legacy of Nancy Reagan.
The love and kind words people shared about this woman were overwhelming. What it brought up for me was the lack of kindness in our current political climate.
I understand that presidential races are a competition, but when did competition get so ugly?
I can’t claim to be politically driven or tapped into current events, but I do know that when I watch or listen to the current presidential candidates, there is a tremendous lack of respect. There seems to be a lot of criticism, hatred, and bad-mouthing, and not a lot of respect, kindness, or acknowledgement.
The other aspect of this that I don’t like is that these are the supposed leaders of the free world, and yet I don’t want my daughter to see the way these people interact. What happened to leading by example?
Somehow, I doubt that we would allow the children in the schoolyard to be as vicious, hateful, or demeaning of their playmates. So why do we allow, or even encourage, our presidential candidates to play at such a low level?
What if, instead of trying to get ahead by showing how deficient someone else is, we got ahead by showing how skillful, experienced, intelligent, kind, and hard-working we are? Sadly, the voices of the few candidates who are trying this approach in this primary have been drowned out by the shrill, angry, and immature shrieking of their foes.
Would the world be a better place? I don’t know. But I sure as heck would be able to stomach watching and participating in the future of our country a whole lot more than I do now.
What can we do?
A s a country divided, one of the ways I believe we can find our way back to compromise, productive debate, and empathy is to begin with compassion. Instead of looking for what is wrong with the other, we need find our common values. There are always at least a few.
We can be compassionate toward these brave souls for being willing to be under the scrutiny of the American people. Cyber bullying is real and presidential candidates, as well as politicians current and past, are also victims.
When did these people stop being people to us? They are cruel to each other, which seems to give us (the people) the right to say awful things about them.
I see the value of checks and balances that comes from freedom of speech, AND I also want to see us getting back to the value of kindness, respect, and gratitude.
Being the president or in any other position of authority isn’t easy. My hope is that WE can remember that these are human beings, too. We should expect more of them, and more of ourselves.
Let’s not wait for people to die for us to be kind and say loving things about them. Let’s begin now.
Let us appreciate each other rather than destroying each other. Let us win based on the quality of our character rather than how badly we make someone else look.
At this point I feel emotionally drained by the current state of political affairs and it is only March. How can we be inspired by our candidates instead of disgusted by this destructive state of the union?
I think it has to begin with love.
Thank you Nancy Reagan for your legacy, and thank you to all of those who serve to make the world a better place.