This week’s election results showed that the USA is a deeply divided country. When one candidate wins the Electoral College and the other wins the popular vote, that can indicate a nation that is split. But the 2016 election goes deeper than a mere division as the tone of anger and hatred has been quite obvious. Let’s face it: “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” would not be the theme song of this election. So now what?
I turn to the wisdom of Mister Rogers who said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Now you might be saying to yourself “I am not scared” and that’s good to know. But a lot of people are and we need to do our part. I believe that whether your candidate won or lost on Tuesday, ALL Americans have a responsibility to help heal the division.
I know that I can’t make anybody else do anything as the only person I can control is the one I see in the mirror every morning (and even that is hard sometimes). But what can I do is follow my friend’s very sage advice: We can live life from a point of fear or a point of love. I choose love.
Now if you’re NOT feeling the love right now, look to what Ellen DeGeneres said earlier this week. Her message of unity points to a reality: We are more alike than we are different. CLICK HERE to view Ellen’s message.During this recent Cubs-Indians World Series, I had friends who were adamantly opposed on this election but were all cheering fervently for the Cubs. Our similarities and differences are part of what weave us together.
So now what?
One of my favorite authors is John C.Maxwell as his work continues to have a significant impact on my life. His book, “How Successful People Think”, changed my life as it greatly influenced my thinking process. His recent book, “Intentional Living”, has taught me the importance of making intentional change in my life each and every day. Thus, I have integrated that philosophy into living life from a point of love.
So that means doing SOMETHING EACH and EVERY DAY to show love. What that means is to get through grieving your candidate’s loss or celebrating your candidate’s victory and get busy. What does that look like? At this point, let me quote James 2:15-16 (NIV):
15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?
Please understand that I believe love can be shown by saying nice things and encouraging others.Many years ago, I learned the power of doing so when I was speaking at a women’s shelter and encouraged a teenage girl to go onto college. I had forgotten about that comment until several years later when the then young woman posted on my Facebook page that she had just graduated from college.
But actions beyond words are important too. If you have the capacity to donate food, clothes, money, time, etc., then please do so. I recognize that few people could do so every day. Since I am not in such a position, I use a multi-faceted approach. I donate as I am able. In addition, I strive to give as many compliments as I can as well as smiling and saying “Hello”. I write notes, share puns and motivational quotes, and text greetings to friends.
However beginning just the other day, I started a very specific daily intentional habit: Since I have been blessed with a large network of people and a knowledge of social media, I am using Facebook to share a way people can help out. I may share a local need and ask people to think about how they can do something similar in their communities. Also, I add the hashtags #SpreadTheLove and #IntentionalLiving (since my Facebook and Twitter accounts are connected). Feel free to use those tags as well and connect with me by clicking on the links in the previous sentence.
A couple of final thoughts about showing love each and every day:
- I make a point of loving myself as I am no good to others if I am drained. Oh and self-care ROCKS!
- Showing love anonymously is also good to do as getting credit isn’t necessary.
What impact will you have? As my very wise high school English teacher, Sue Mousseau, said “You’ll never know whom you’ll influence nor when nor how.”
So now what?
Jane Freund is an author, encourager, speaker and book coach who has written 19 books and helped over 140 people achieve their publishing dreams. In addition, Jane taught Communication for ten years at Boise State University. Jane’s books can be found on Amazon , Etsy and Smashwords. In addition, Jane can be found on Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and smoke signals. OK, she is kidding about the smoke signals!