LIVE! The past is behind you – you cannot change it. Tomorrow isn’t promised – you don’t know what lies ahead. These statements were true before this presidential campaign and will be true for many more elections to come. Regardless of who sits in the White House, we each have ambitions, goals, dreams, and needs.
The drive to achieve then, must come from within us and not be dependent on one person or position.
1.) FOCUS ON THE NEED OF OUR COUNTRY AND THE FUTURE OF OUR NATION
As a people and a nation, we should be focused on taking steps to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to “live well” and “achieve success.” The focus should have been – and still should be – on preserving our country’s economical and environmental well-being, restoring our values, respecting our differences, and uniting to secure our homeland from those who seek to cause us harm through physical and cyber-based attacks.
2.) EDUCATE YOURSELVES SO YOU CAN INFLUENCE DIRECTION
We had a “say” in the election by having the opportunity to cast a vote for either candidate. Even if our desired candidate did not get the title as we had hoped, we still have a “say” in our country’s future.
But, to achieve this, we will need to stay engaged and press for positive change by educating ourselves on the issues and policies. We also need to toss aside our personal (selfish) desires by giving direction to those who work at all levels of government to influence the decisions that will set the course for the next four years, or even longer.
3.) WE STILL LIVE IN A DEMOCRACY
This country was not formed on the principles of dictatorship or monarchy. The United States of America is a democracy, which still means “of the people”, “by the people” and “for the people”. So, we should not be so dependent on ONE person! Of course leadership is important and of course, we all want a leader that we think represents our interests.
But, we have to just be real about it. One person will NOT have all the same interests and stance on the issues as everyone else. There will always be pockets of special interest groups and varying opinions on how to tackle issues as well as set policies and laws.
If we really believe that one person having the office of President, dictates the future for our entire population, then, we are saying that we are helpless and powerless as a people. And if that is what we are, the least of our worries should be – Who is the President of the United States of America?
4.) MAKE DIVERSITY A TRUE STRENGTH AND NOT AN ACHILLES HEEL
We are a nation that was built on diversity (whether everyone wants to admit it or not). When we look at inventions, inventors, creative, athletic, literary, philosophical, social, technical and medical contributions to the development of our country and the world, Americans of all races (colors and hues) are well represented.
Listen: social, racial, nationality, sexist and religious beliefs will always play a large role in our country’s presidential campaign and policy setting. There is no denying that. But, we all live here and we will continue to live here.
So if we are going to be real about it, the choices are 1) find common ground, or 2) fight each other in a war that never ends. Everytime one side thinks they are about to win the war, they lose a battle and the cycle continues.
Still, each of us has the ability to harness the power within our diversity and connect with one another to lay down our artillery and build bridges that are strong enough, wide enough, and long enough; to continue to develop tools and methods that can improve the human condition, economically, environmentally, and socially. Let us take the opportunity to reach out again and again and again…
And yes, we have to brace ourselves so that if we are rejected (sometimes we will be), when we extend our hand to another, we respond in a manner that is wise and patient, searching for new avenues to bring understanding or peacefully co-exist. Fighting among ourselves weakens our nation and leaves the door open for others to attack us and bind our country (all of us regardless of race, creed or color) in the same manner.
5.) L-I-V-E (continue the daily grind for inaction cannot get our COUNTRY to a place of VICTORY)
If we look back historically, there are just as many as this presidential campaign where we woke up the next morning disturbed and excited at who won. Yet, somehow, through it all, we are still standing – WE MADE IT! Life continued. Maybe everything wasn’t just as we had hoped, but all wasn’t lost.
But, hasn’t that been true whether your candidate was on the winning or the losing side? So, right now, some feel discouraged while others feel rejuvenated. It doesn’t matter what group you fell into. The sun came up and your day had to proceed as normal.
It’s not the time to feel discouraged or to disassociate from the issues of the day because your candidate lost the election. It’s also not the time to gloat and get too caught up in thinking you’re right or all-knowing because your candidate won. The presidential campaign comes every four years – it’s a never ending cycle. You will win some and you will lose some.
But, as a nation to always be on the winning side, it is imperative that we get involved and stay involved. Learn about the issues, the policies and the laws. Engage, network, connect and unite. Work to influence and enact change. Remember: when the election results are read, we are just getting started.
This is when your voice needs to be heard – louder than during the presidential campaign. And, since four years goes by you are right back at the starting line – make sure they hear you NOW!
For no matter what candidate you chose, the thing that never changes is that, “This Land is MY Land, this Land is YOUR Land!”