If my Facebook feed is any indicator, most people were more than happy to see 2018 come to an end. Many (most) of you suffered significant war wounds from the political mayhem we experienced every week. For 52 weeks.
So, as we enter 2019, a few thoughts:
Decide now who you want to be. How will you respond to the incessant political vitriol? If you're interested in getting things done, and moving things forward in a positive direction to contribute to a functioning, thriving democracy, then think about how you will choose to respond as you re-enter the political fray of 2019.
I know I don't want to contribute to the dynamics and energy that perpetuates polarization. Not because I don't get outraged. Not because I think we should all just play nice and watch the negativity magically disappear.
I choose it because our polarized stalemates are ineffectual.
And I want solutions.
I'm convinced that a person who meets and responds to vitriol with the same level of energy with which it's doled out merely perpetuates the same cycles of miasmic inertia. It gets us nowhere. It feels good in the moment. And that's the seduction.
But, ultimately, it makes us feel crappy.
I don't want to be part of that.
Instead, I want to go into 2019 holding space for authentic relationships, elevating the content of debates, and deeply challenging—as well as deeply supporting—the people around me. If that’s what you want for yourself, too, here are some ways to make it happen:
• Do what you can from where you are to contribute to a solution. Hint: this will require you to explore outside your current thinking
• Be fuel for each other and stay integrity-filled in the midst of profound difference. Be a Loyal Antagonist and model Loyal Antagonism for others
• Decide how you want to respond if you find yourself in the soup of outrage and refuse to resort to our lowest common denominator of human self-centeredness
• And, in the words of the great philosopher, Tim McGraw, no matter what, stay humble and kind
We can always choose to be loving, even when we don't feel loving.
Happy New Year!