I’ll admit it. This presidential election stuff has put me into quite a funk. To make things (even) worse, two of the smartest people I know, two of the people I love most on this Earth, are on totally opposite sides in this election.
How could these two people who mean so much to me be so different?
Well, they aren’t. I’ve just been focusing on the wrong stuff.
Yes, we are in a crapstorm of a news cycle. Yes, it scares me stupid. Yes, there are enormous divides between folks about issues large and small, real and imagined, existential and inconvenient; but that’s not the whole story.
Tired of feeling terrified, as the 24-hour news-mongers have so carefully nurtured, I knew I had to do something fast. What if, instead of wondering about the difference between these two VIPs in my life, I considered their similarities? Wow, did it make me feel better!
Here are the Top Ten Happy Similarities between (let’s call them) Sissy and Spousey:
10. They are kind to animals.
9. They work hard and pay their fair share of taxes.
8. They revere and look out for their parents.
7. They are good neighbors.
6. They are generous with their time and their money.
5. They hate to dance.
4. They are science-believers.
3. They like David Bowie music.
2. They are fabulous parents and wonderful spouses.
1. They love me and they love each other.
In a few weeks, the election will be over and all the animus that the campaigns have created must be neutralized for all our sakes. There is no denying the differences, but we should not lose grasp on all the things that we share. We need to stop treating each other like enemy combatants and remember that we are neighbors. If we were not shouting ugly words at each other before the primaries were concluded, we should be thinking hard about what we’re doing now.
Life will go on after November 8th. We’ll work and shop and live with the same people we worked and shopped and lived with before. I am not suggesting that we should not be passionate in our debate and advocacy for our issues; I am saying that, if we burn down the house, it won’t matter if the drapes are blue or red.
I’ll bet you can find ten things in common with someone who’s giving you some election heartburn, too. It will make you feel better. Try. If you disagree with my position, here are a few things I offer for your consideration:
chocolate chip cookies
rescued guinea pigs
the color turquoise