Am I the change I wish to see?
We have reflected on the issues. We have pondered the qualities of politicians and leaders. Now it’s time to turn the spotlight on ourselves. We all seem to agree that the country is in a bad way. We are severely divided, and in that divide is bred self-righteousness, hatred, and violence. Are we simply bemoaning the state of things or are we striving to fix it?
Most likely you are familiar with Mahatma Gandhi’s call to “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” If we desire a more nuanced understanding of the issues, we might ask ourselves: When was the last time I read a paper or tuned in to a show with a different angle? If we desire discourse that is civil, we might ask ourselves: when was the last time I listened to someone with a viewpoint different than my own and actively, intentionally held space for them to talk and be heard? If we desire more effective leadership, we might ask ourselves: how can I lead daily by my own example?
Ballots will be cast. Results will be announced. Emotions will be felt: hope, despair, anxiety, anger, vindication. Throughout this process and ongoing, are we the change we wish to see?