Kindness in Politics? I think it’s possible.

It’s October! I love October. It’s the start of such a fun time of the year for me. Not only do we have Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, but my dad’s, brother’s, daughter’s and mom’s birthday are during this time of year! Basically I am about to start a three-month long celebration.

It’s also heating up politically. The mid-term elections are around the corner. (Side note – are you registered to vote? If not, do it TODAY. No, really like TODAY! Here is a site you can find more information about your voter registration status).  I am, by nature, a non-confrontational person which makes politics a little hard for me to navigate. The only thing I don’t find hard to navigate is what to wear to the polls. I always wear red, white and blue. You should be patriotic on a day you get to have a say in your leaders!

For the first time since 2002 I put a political sticker on my car. This was a really big deal for me. I think this is an important election and I’m fired up about several issues. I mean, really fired up, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about what people would think about me when they saw the sticker on the back of my Pilot. I’m in a relatively new place, dropping my kids off at new schools, and we are continuing to try churches in the area. I kept thinking “What assumptions on these people going to make about me because of the sticker on my car? How dare they make assumptions about me! They don’t know me!” But then, I turned the question on myself. What assumptions am I making because someone has the opponent’s sticker on their car? And believe me, I was making a LOT of assumptions. Not nice ones either. Turns out I still need to remind myself of the golden rule “treat others as you would like to be treated.” Or maybe for this blog post it should be “don’t make assumptions about people you don’t want them making about you.” It’s a really great way to live life, isn’t it?

All of this to say, let’s be careful about making negative assumptions about the person that is sporting a Cruz sticker or a Beto sticker. It would be such an easier world if all circumstances were black and white, but sometimes they just aren’t. Politics is complicated. Everyone comes to the table with a different background, story, and belief structure than you do. Instead of automatically assuming they are bad, wrong, or immoral, maybe we should LISTEN to one another. Give each other space and grace to talk about these things without our assumptions clouding what they are saying knowing there are some issues on which we will not agree.  Also, remember that our kids are watching us. Yes, this may be politics, but they are taking their ques on how to treat people and how to talk about people from us all the time. Just be kind to one another. Even that person with a Cruz sticker on their car. Oh yeah, or Beto.

p.s. I’m making an assumption about how many friends and family get upset with me over this post. Ha! Kindness, y’all. Kindness.

 

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