Politics are a hot button issue around town, “town” being everywhere. People rant, people decant thoughts, people argue, people debate. Sometimes friendships are made or ended over politics. I’ve even heard people declare members of the opposing party as sinful or unrighteous just for holding an opposing political philosophy (I’ve heard this from both sides, so please stop those self-righteous comments before they’re borne).
But here’s the problem with most political debates I’ve seen: They focus on name-calling or checklists of supposed “crimes” or the character (or lack of character) of politicians. I’m hugely in favor of politicians who avoid the bandwagon of corruption and lies and buy-outs. But you know what none of these debates addresses? Solutions.
Right now the world is in crisis. There is an epidemic of ebola (the disease I am irrationally terrified of thanks to an Anthropology class I took once). Over 200 girls in Nigeria were kidnapped from school, most of whom still haven’t been found. The Islamic State threatens life in the Middle East, while also threatening the United Kingdom and its allies. Russia invaded Ukraine. There’s conflict in Gaza. Drought is so severe people are losing their livelihoods. Campus rape is rampant. An unarmed young man was murdered by a police officer. Ecosystems are breaking down. Climates are changing. Locally, my precious desert is threatened by oil and business and greedy politicians.
That’s an entire paragraph’s worth of problems that to a certain degree as individuals, there’s not much we can do. But our world leaders are in the position to do something significant. Their role, whether we like the individual or not, is vital for these problems to be solved and for justice to be served. Their role does NOT negate the need for activism on an individual basis, whether that activism is in the form of doing what you can to solve the problem or in the form of pushing your politicians to do the right thing.
Unfortunately, I’m no idealist when it comes to esteeming politicians. In fact, the opposite is true where I have a very cynical view of them. And it is imperative to sound the alarm when politicians have a heavy misstep or completely go wrong. But that doesn’t mean I don’t recognize their position as an opportunity to do great things. And that is where how we as citizens behave comes in.
It is frustrating when you see politicians do horrible things. And truly horrible things should result in removal from office. But what I see most frequently is people going on and on about how horrible of a president President Obama is. Do they offer solutions? (Saying, “If only my candidate had won the election,” doesn’t count as a solution.) No. Do they offer a diplomatic solution to the strife in Russia and Ukraine? No. They simply complain.
When we spend all our time complaining about politicians we aren’t giving them the positive energy they need to do a good job. That might sound new age-y or something, but I believe it to be true.
So. My call to action in this post is to ask everyone to instead of complaining, send good energy to our leaders. Whether that is by prayer or meditation or good vibes or whatever your method of directing positive energy is, just do it. Making the world a better place and solving problems isn’t an easy job. In fact, it’s often a thankless job that merits more condemnation than praise, whether the mover and shaker is a politician, activist, or average citizen. Reserving judgement and offering solutions is what will ultimately make positive headway, whether your party is in office or not.
So maybe you don’t like the current president or past presidents. Maybe you don’t like the dominant party. Maybe you don’t like ANYBODY! But if we want our government to meet its potential, when the election is over opposing candidates cease to matter in terms of running the government. There are countless issues facing the world today. Making your distaste of an individual one of those problems helps no one and harms the world.
Let’s send a big wave of positive energy out there, shall we?