Well wow. All I can say is that I am actually happy I watched last night’s presidential debate until the very end. The last two minutes were, without question, the highlight. Did you feel the energy shift? I sure as hell did. Positivity works. Leading with respect and kindness works. As soon as each candidate had to focus on the good, they calmed, they seemed a bit humbled and were able to see the other as a human being. Could you imagine what the debate would be like if they started that way? Or even better, if we didn’t allow this disgusting, disrespectful behavior at all? Requiring that each candidate answer questions directly and without turning it around to discuss something negative about their opponent? The truth is, neither is better than the other in this category. You can talk all you want about the high road, but talk is cheap and action is everything. With all the EGO on that stage, it’s amazing that there was any room for the town hall guests.
This 2016 presidential election is a gift to us, as it most definitely shines a light on areas of opportunity in us all, individually and as a society. In short, watching the demeanor of our two candidates is showing us exactly what NOT to do in life…
1. Opportunity #1 – Judging
Can we please cut this shit out? He made mistakes, she made mistakes. One can argue that he is worse, or she is worse. It doesn’t matter, because all of that is judgement. Then we decide what “meaning” we are going to put to things and then bam, evil. And really, who the hell are we to judge? Have you never had a moment that you wish you could take back? If someone followed you around all day, would we witness nothing but ideal behavior, thoughts, and language? I’m not defending, because that too would be a form of judgement, nor am I saying not to be informed on each nominee’s merits and policy. I’m simply saying: each person’s journey in life is unique and valid. Period. End of story. We are all connected, so stop judging as if you are the chosen one.
2. Opportunity #2 – Not Listening
There is ZERO listening and ZERO effort to communicate going on. What’s happening here are two huge EGOS fighting to be heard, to make their point, and to say whatever they want, even if it doesn’t apply at all. To listen is to seek to understand. If each of us slowed down when we communicate, truly listen, and then in return are given the space to be listened to, we would have immeasurable improvement in relationships, business, parenting, and overall fulfilment.
3. Opportunity #3: Meanness and Bullying
The antics of this presidential race and debate are all about tearing down your opponent to build yourself up. Come on people!!! How can we be so evolved and have so many advancements, but this one we’re still struggling with?! If you want to win or gain something, do it on your own accord, under the merits of who you are, what you stand for, and what you have to offer. Being mean only makes you look like an asshole and discounts anything positive you may have brought to the table. We are working as a nation to eliminate bullying, and here, our two leadership options are covered in it. Unacceptable.
I believe everything is a gift, yes everything. So our gift in this 2016 craziness is to see that we are always at choice. We can choose openness over judgement, listening over needing to be right, and kindness and respect over meanness and bullying.