Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Utopian Sweatpants


I am so encouraged to see that so many of my friends voted today. As I sit around in my sweatpants, having a glass of wine and watching the late reports of today's election results, I am reminded of a few things that I would like to share. 

First, we all got to participate in the democratic process and this is one of the things that makes our country great. We should all feel special, no matter what the results were, and celebrate that we had a voice in the selection of our government. 

Second, our democratic republic is based on the idea of balance and I think this is what we witnessed tonight. Maybe, over the past decade or so, the swing in balance has been more drastic than most of us are comfortable with but this swing is a part of the history of the process.

Third, we have elected a government but that does not mean our job is finished. We must be proactive (aside from voting) with being engaged in the process of government. This means having our voices being heard and supporting OUR government in their quest to fix the many struggles that face Americans every day.

Fourth, this is a great country, no matter how you feel about those in leadership. I am growing tired of the "them" versus "us" mentality that has emerged in our culture. Those that have perpetrated terror against us are getting exactly what they wanted when we point fingers at each other, call each other names or try to place blame for the way things are. The election has taken place and this is OUR government, for better or for worse. If you want your congressman or senator or governor or president to know what you think he/she should advocate for, write a letter, sign petitions, join causes. Do whatever you can to speak out and get your message heard...this is our right as Americans but it is a responsibility we all seem to forget about as we live our day-to-day lives.

Lastly, I think that there is far too much polarization in this country. I see divergent opinions being treated as poison and people of different political and social beliefs being set against each other as competitors. Maybe it's because times are lean and things are hard that we find it easy to set these boundaries between one another. I, too, am guilty of engaging in such activities but I am tired...too tired to continue on this path. I want to look forward with hope and optimism and am coming to realize that I can't do it without opening up my mind to finding ways to cooperate rather than alienate.

So, as I sit around here, all comfortable in my "utopian sweatpants," I would like to challenge you all to doing something in the next week that goes towards making OUR country better. If you're a democrat, talk to a republican to find out what their view is of where we should be going and listen with empathy, without passing judgement. If you are a republican, do the same. Write to a newly elected official to congratulate them and express your needs as eloquently as possible. Take your hostility, if you still have some, and turn it into something positive that will actually help OUR country rather than hurt it. It should be all of our duties to come together as Americans rather than finding ways to divide it. 

Rant over!


are an informal variety of trousers intended for comfort or athletic or loungingpurposes. Many jails and juvenile institutions use orange or white sweatpants for their main uniform because of low production cost and uniformity. In Australia, Singapore and New Zealand they are known as track (or tracksuit) pants or, less formally, trakky daks.

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