We The People
By, Poppy and Geoff Spencer, Certified Relational Experts, Speakers, Authors
We imagine right now that many in the United States of America. feel as though we are having an emotional civil war. Except, we’re not civil. Divided and angry, we’ve become disempowered and shut off from one another. Our good will toward man is all used up.
We look too much to our elected officials to give us the answers. They may not inspire us; they may not stand tall. We have a triangle of ego divisiveness: the two candidates and the media. Humility is out the window. If ego appears to drive our every decision just to get shock value, ratings, and attention, we the people, all lose.
We’re afraid to tell people for whom we voted. We’re frustrated and angry that neither candidate reflects our values. It’s as if we’re watching two of our least favorite NFL teams play each other. We feel dejected. Our hopes have been hijacked. We don’t know where—or to whom—to look for inspiration, security and integrity.
So, what can we do?
What if today—right now—we pledge to make a decision that it doesn’t matter who wins the office of the president? Let us decide not to elect a person, but rather a thought. A collective thought—that seeks to underscore our shared purpose: to have a nation of peace, good health, prosperity, and security.
Think how empowering that would be. We need to look within. Within the borders of our own family and friends. The action on such a thought begins at the family table.
Here are 5 tips to reclaim peace, honor and good will in your family:
- Inner Creativity: We all have it—that innate brilliance and inner genius. Many brilliant ideas and movements have been born from exasperation, anger and general fed-upness-ness. It always starts with one. Like it or not, Donald Trump created a movement: a movement in which he called out and shone a spotlight on the corruption, the down side of political correctness, and highlighted his desire for a collective accountability of all of us—we the people, who live in this country. Through role play, prepare ahead of time topics you know may cause conflict. Talk through them while you’re chopping celery for the stuffing. Create your own “Family Constitution,” where each family member begins by saying, “We the people (of this table), agree on…” and then go around and let each and every member at the table share their vision of how they would like our country to be. Set the table for all voices to be heard.
- Unity: One of the things that makes our relationships so dynamic and solid, is that we are both on the same page. We take the time to discuss differences and resolve to ultimately create one voice. We set a solid example—have one over arching theme that takes precedent over all else: we place love of family and friends above all else. Period. When this is ingrained in our collective minds and hearts, we will always find common ground.
- Courage: Find strength to create a mindset and energy of peace and safety. No eggshells on the floor for people to step on. When we create a safe haven where gentleness and peacefulness is palpable, people will feel it and find relief in that environment. (And a family pet provides a wonderful bonus to quell the political angst that might arise.) When we think of Bernie Sanders’ appeal, perhaps his approachable, gentle manner was one reason why so many aligned with him. Have the courage to be prepared for any land mines that someone might step on. Prepare young ones that someone might raise a voice, and it doesn’t mean anything other than he or she is afraid of something. If at the table, someone brings up a charged political comment, allow them a safe place to express themselves. If young children are present and Uncle Mike’s red in the face and pounding the table, give a reassuring nod to the kids that this is what you’ve already talked about.
- Attention: We’ve allowed the current political focus to bleed into our psyches, to sabotage our good will toward each other. We can take back our freedom of expression. We can create our own movement and focus our attentions on the things that we and our family appreciate and values. Focus on your immediate family—the attributes, their character. With each member at the table, find and highlight the moment where integrity has shone through. Role play this: “If you were elected, how would you lead?” Give attention to each person present and allow each to share their thoughts and desires. When Geoff lost his brother in the second tower of the World Trade Center, his mantra became: This is not the way my brother’s life story is going to end. Contemptuous acts will not become his legacy. It will not define us.” We the people can choose to find our own strengths, shore up our own resolve, to think, feel and act with purpose and integrity.
- Respect: One key aspect we heard from casino owner, Steve Wynn on a cable news’ commentary yesterday, is summed up by him in one word: respect. We must cultivate this for our families. Respect has to be on the holiday table this Thanksgiving, right next to the turkey. We suggest having a conversation prior to guests and family members showing up. For young kids, we would say, “Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Tonya feel differently about the two people running for President than we do. And it’s okay. That’s the country we live in, where everyone is able to have their own opinion. Practice these kinds of conversations every day. Role play. Share stories. Share past problems and how you’ve resolved them so younger generations can learn.
We the people, can create our own movements, right after you pass the mashed potatoes.
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