I have always hated politics and therefore I have never followed them with great interest. I will be the first to admit I cannot hold an In-depth conversation about policies, parties or agendas. I have also always believed in order to climb the political ladder you had to sell out to something or someone. True mavericks rarely make it to the top.
This past week was heart-wrenching to witness. And unless your head was buried in the sand, there was a flood of information pouring over you. Information that was vile, biased, mean and just plain unimaginable at times - from both sides. Grown men and women of all affiliations behaving in ways that to the rest of the world has to appear childish, ridiculous and incredulous. A horrendous example to our youth today of mature conduct. My two takeaways from what I witnessed this week are #1 - the facts about these two individuals lay probably somewhere in the middle and #2 - if everyone acting pious and self-righteous this week had to admit their teenage wrong-doings on the world's stage, the vast majority would have kept silent. It's very easy for anyone to sit in judgment of others while sitting on their own sins.
There was a time when I could turn on my TV or read a news article and believe, wholeheartedly, in what I saw. I am sure I was duped a time or two, but I did have faith in the ‘system’. I looked to those outside my small circle of life to bring me the truth; both the good and the bad. Unfortunately, though, somewhere along the way we have lost the sanctity and purity of honesty. I am having a really difficult time wrapping my mind around the ease with which lies and half-truths are passed off as news or facts and how quickly we are to soak them up and even help spread them.
I am not here to take a side or expose what I think is true or false. Honestly, I don't know what to believe, and that is the real problem I have. I am saddened that as intelligent, richly blessed individuals in the greatest country in the world, we have forgotten how to treat each other with kindness and common decency.
So what is the answer? How are we to react when the truth is hard to find or define. What is our responsibility in this life when faced with uncertainty and turmoil?
Be Smart. I'm sure all of you know this already, but everything reported is not based in fact. With 24-hour news cycles and social media outlets with no accountability, there will be things that cross your path that are simply not true. Not just in politics, but in all areas. Learn to use common sense. Think about what you read and digest it before repeating or believing. Be a responsible consumer of information. If you are unsure and it is important to you, research it. Be open-minded, but if something sounds off don't buy into the hype. Make informed decisions for yourself based on sound judgment and logic.
Do The Right Thing. Basically, this boils down to the Golden Rule: treat others the way you want to be treated. We all learned that as children, but some of us take a pass on it as adults. So stop it! I am 100% confident those who are reading this all possess the reason and intelligence to discern right from wrong. So do the RIGHT thing. Do not put fame, money, position or pride ahead of values. Never compromise your integrity for any type of gain. Take responsibility for your words and your actions. One person at a time, one day at a time, one RIGHT at a time, we can make a significant difference.
Stay Positive. This one is the hardest; even for me. Sometimes I want to throw up my hands and walk away from the table. What's the use? Who is listening? I give in to the pessimism at times, I admit, but I also recognize that for all the negative, there is triple the good! Of course, that doesn't get reported as often, but it's out there. People helping people. Heroes. Those going the extra mile and loving their neighbor and even strangers. If we learn to embrace and share the beauty that is in this world, there will be less time or patience for the ugly.
My Hopefuls, there will be situations in your personal life and in those of the world around you that confuse, dismay or upset you. You will search for truth and strain to find the good. Never give up. It's out there. How do I know? Because YOU are out there. And I believe in you! I believe you are the truth and kindness that this world needs. Use each day given to you as an opportunity to radiate joy. I charge each of you with spreading your own personal brilliance, goodness, love and HOPE!
And with that...always..
Hope With Abandon