This might be a little longer than just a paragraph. And I will have a number of quotes at the end to reflect on my thoughts today. It is inauguration day. What does that mean for our country? As with all inaugurations, there are people who are hopeful and there are those who are worried. For those who are hopeful, I too am hopeful – that people are not forgotten in the process, that peace prevails, that humanity remains “human.” For those who are worried, I too am worried – that the things we learned in kindergarten will be forgotten: how to share, how to play nice with others, how to use your inside voice when having a conversation, how to leave things the way you found them or better and how it is OK to take a break and have a nap because as we grow we need to be rested, not stressed.
While we process today’s change of leadership, those in charge should realize there is a palpable fear among those without control. In this atmosphere, in particular, it is the fear of the unknown.
For those who are concerned about what their future holds, I suggest concentrating on things you can control.
Of course there are those with medical conditions which are not an “easy fix”, but for a lot of people with future healthcare concerns – think about what it is that could make you the healthiest version of yourself. Quit smoking, become more active, remove yourself from your desk and get out into the wild or start having annual checkups to catch things that are easily fixed before they landslide into something bigger.
Instead of being caught up in catchphrases and soundbites – when a conversation in the public gets started (newspapers, media, politicians, etc): educate yourself on what the people are actually talking about. The more you educate yourselves on those things that matter to you, the better equipped you are when speaking with others who do not share your concerns. But do not stop there, educate yourself on the things that matter to other people too, so you can understand them better and maybe find common ground. And you should not limit yourself to the internet, because it can be a twisty turny road of misinformation. Read a book, visit your library, visit your National Parks and read the signs next to the historical sites. Don’t be lazy about your own education. When you put effort in, your rewards will always be greater. And for goodness sake, READ MORE BOOKS.
Have conversations. Find a friend who does not share the same world views as yourself (and if you have none, shame on you, quit cutting yourself off and make some). Have dinner with them every few weeks and discuss their worldviews and yours. Do not argue. Just ask questions. And, if they are willing, tell them about your views. You cannot stand in a room full of like-minded people, shouting about what worries you and expect to change the world. It is the people who do not understand your views that you should be concentrating on. If more people took the time to understand the other side, maybe there would be more working together and less breaking apart. And in the train of thought regarding conversations: have talks with kids, young people (both yours and others). Understand that they have a longer time in the future than we do and their opinions matter more than we give credit.
And, just because you are louder does not make you “righter.’ Stop screaming and you might hear enough to understand.
That is all for today folks. I hope to see you out in the world, to have a conversation, to learn more about what you think of the world we inhabit. Until then, keep learning.