Not the kind of week I was expecting when I returned from my sabbatical. I didn't expect fanfare but I also didn't expect a day of such violence and upheaval at the Capitol.
I've thought long and hard about that day. Yes, it was terribly horrific and disturbing as I'm sure it was too so many.But I also thought of many lessons that were presented to me on that day when i got beyond the horror and anger of it all.
There are people who exist in this world, I believe, who present with extreme thoughts, behaviors & ideas to test the darker sides that are within us all. Some of us rise up to the challenge and overcome & others buy into it. Giving in to the anger & perceived injustice. Not that I'm saying their perception is invalid, their perception is their reality whether I agree with it or not. But it did give each of me time to pause and check in with myself to determine my own values and truths. My own perception of reality, if you will.
As a person who does not live in Washington D.C. nor is employed at the Capitol it is a helpless feeling to watch what happened and it left me feeling so out of control & unsafe in this country for awhile. But what I then realized is that I am in control of myself and my own environment. I can make a difference in the world. Every day that I step outside of my home I can make a conscious effort to treat every person with kindness and respect, no matter what. It doesn't matter if they are kind back, smile back at me or wear a MAGA hat or a Biden hat. Because underneath all of it we are human beings. People may not respect me for my beliefs or what I do for a living but I still deserve kindness.
But more importantly is that what's been learned is that yes, our one vote does count. We do have a voice and in this country it is a right & duty that we have. We also have a duty to put more thought into that vote than just what political party we belong to. There are consequences to every vote we make, we aren't just voting for what the party stands for, we are voting for a human being that has faults just like every single one us. Are those faults within your moral code? Do they fit within your values? These too are important questions to think about. There's no need to get high and mighty about it but it's something to consider for YOURSELF.
I also got to thinking about how on every social media platform or news program everyone either gives their opinion as being the right one or the news anchors are asking for your opinion. Well, isn't that part of the problem? It's one thing to graciously ask someone to 'consider' an alternative thought but when you're angrily or blatantly expounding that your opinion is the right one well, it's just not going to heard by those that you want to convince and you end up causing divisiveness.
So many people I know want to change the world and it hurts when events like this happen. No one person can change the world but one person can change their world. It starts with looking at these catastrophic events and seeing where you might learn a small lesson to take forward in your life. Take that lesson, implement it and share that with the people you meet in your community. Tell the person bagging your groceries and the one checking you out that you appreciate their help. Tell the person who's giving you the COVID test in a free drive up testing site that you've been waiting in line for hour but they've been there for 5 hours, how much you appreciate their commitment to helping the public. Tell the Trump supporter or Biden supporter good morning even if you voted for the other guy. All of it creates a ripple effect and I guess I'm a big enough believer to think that the positive energy can impact the world just as much if not more than all the negative.
Live.Grow.Be. In considering a different way.