|Fond memories of stumbling upon this gem in Los Angeles, CA on the day of the 2008 election|
Sunday, October 21, 2012
I don’t normally like to talk politics. Well, lets back up–I like to talk politics depending on the setting. If I am in a bar having a drink I would be happy to talk about politics if it happens to come up in conversation. If I am at a little kid’s birthday party, I don’t want to talk about politics. If I am out on a run I might consider talking about politics, but only around mile 5, and only for about a half a mile. If I am painting, I don’t want to think about politics. If I am thinking about my career, international affairs, helping others, and making the world a better place, I will probably mention something about politics and then I will probably talk about it.
Recently I had a professional look over my resume—as they peered over their horn rim glasses, after studying the page, she said “Well, clearly you bleed blue.” Suddenly it dawned on me–politics is not something I choose to talk about or partake in, politics is a part of who I am because I actively participate in the political world–however you define “political.” Sure, I have something to say about what I think or feel–everyone should. I once had a long political discussion with a dear friend–one of my best friends (who happens to bleed red)– who asked me where my blue blood came from? And I explained that it came from the people and experiences that have filled my life and shaped who I am. All of our perspectives and backgrounds, thoughts and ideas, people and places, shape who we are. From those deep roots where we come from, to those far-reaching corners of our lives, from those good times and from those bad times–we bleed–be it red or blue. We are supposed to–it is how we survive.
We are not all supposed to be the same. This week I talked with a mentor who told me that the best conversations that we (as people) can have are with those who think differently from us. What do we gain from agreeing all the time? What do we learn from those who finish our sentences and always respond with “Yes! Exactly!” How do we really broaden our horizons if we are constantly surrounded by people who always agree, hold the same thoughts and ideas, and share the same values and beliefs? The truth is, we need others to challenge us, just as we should challenge others. We need to push each other to ask questions, inquire, and gain new perspectives. We need to learn from one another. Everyone has something to bring to the table, and we are all allowed to agree to disagree.
What we can’t tolerate is turning our backs on one another. What we can’t risk is broken friendships and broken ties over disagreements and different perspectives. What we must hold (above all) is respect for one another. What we must keep is the peace. What we must do is participate–because if we don’t, no one wins. We are given an incredible opportunity–the opportunity to participate in our democracy. We are able to vote. Whether you are political or not, think about it, this is an incredibly powerful thing. People around the world are risking their lives everyday to do what many of us take for granted–vote.
Things are getting political. There are 17 days until the Presidential election. These are exciting times. Whether you bleed red, blue, or purple, the election should get your heart pumping. So, while friends and family who know me best would argue, that I in fact do like to talk politics, it is probably because it is in my blood, and I know it is in their blood. It is in your blood. It is in our blood. It is living and breathing inside all of us. And so I encourage everyone to go out and vote–red, blue, purple, and every shade in-between.
This cup is for Brooke & Sasha: who challenge my blue blood with their red blood–and know that no matter what colors we bleed we will be friends forever.
And here is an extra little treat to start your day thanks to the very talented Ingrid Michaelson