It's interesting to read the Facebook posts of my various friends across the country as election results came in. Some are wildly hopeful. Some are deeply depressed. I suspect that many of us are a mix.
I am thrilled with the variety of people that this nation elected. I would have been thrilled with the numbers of women elected, but words can't express how happy I am to see how many women from minority populations (minority for now) were elected. If the past few years/decades have taught us anything, it's that aging white men won't be looking out for all of us.
To be fair, maybe any one of us will look out for the well being of our own population groups before we branch out to care about others. I get that. But how can so many in government have their powers of sympathy/empathy so stunted? I have never had children, but I understand many of the issues that families with small children face, and I'd like to see a world where parents didn't have to make so many drastic, painful choices. We'd all be better off.
And yes, I'd be happy to pay more in taxes for that to happen.
So let us be happy that so many regular folks have decided to pick up the political reigns, to try to direct this carriage in a different direction. And let us be happy that so many of them won.
I am guessing that many of us now understand how important the political process can be. I predict that fewer of us will say that what happens in national politics has no impact on us. We've seen more people voting in this past midterm election than we have in the last 50 years. Will that trend continue? I hope so.
I'm also hoping that we move beyond thinking about what we don't want. It seems that it's time to dream about what we do want--both as individuals and as a nation.
I confess that I don't know how to solve the larger issue--that we have some widely divergent views of what would be good for the nation. Once I would have agreed with a friend who said, "Feed babies. That's my platform. No one can disagree with feeding babies." Now I worry that we have a chunk of the population that might disagree.
But my spiritual training has taught me the limits of fear as motivation. Far better to motivate people with a beautiful vision than with threats. I realize that not everyone agrees with me. I will dream my beautiful visions regardless.