In the US, we are nearing Election Day 2016. The events leading up to this day have been marked with extreme polarization and civic insanity. Far from insignificant, the outcome of this upcoming collective decision promises to have far-reaching implications not only for the United States but for the planet and all its inhabitants. This is a big day and a big vote that none of us can afford to take lightly.
Various comedians have made valiant attempts to find humor, irrationality, and downright bizarreness in the events leading up to this election. Talented political analysts have raised their voices, pointing out insights and implications that may have escaped our consideration. And many of us find ourselves taking refuge in the company of like-minded people where our confoundment and concern can be shared.
When the choice seems so obvious to us, and one of the candidates such an inexcusable possibility for reasons that seem endless, it is easy to forget that those same disgusting, inexcusable qualities can be found within each one of us.
The truth is that not only is there an important election about to happen in the United States, but there is an important election happening all the time within us. There are two candidates that constantly vie for the allegiance of our heart. One candidate is self-centered, tyrannical, and downright dangerous. The other candidate cares about the common good and is willing to make some sacrifices to that end. Both candidates are constantly asking for our vote; both are seeking to rule our hearts.
If civility holds sway, the battle for president of the United States will end on Nov 8th for another 4 years. But the inner battle will rage on as two candidates continue to vie for our attention. One candidate seeks to rule our hearts with fear and self-centeredness. The other candidate’s platform seeks ways where all can thrive and harmony can prevail. This, too, is a vote none of us can afford to make lightly, and we cast this vote day after day, moment after moment, with our every word and action.
We are familiar with Michelle Obama’s words, “When they go low, we go high.” May these words continue to guide us as we carry out our civic duty and vote for the next president of the United States. May these words also guide us as we engage our human possibility and vote for the inner ruler of our hearts.