My brother wrote this and published it in a local magazine. It’s so good, and the nation in such turmoil over the election tomorrow, I decided to share it.
Eight years ago, after the election, I was among those with the impression that it might mean the end for freedom, economic stability, and peace, not to mention good and decent health in America. These fears were not helped by the “conservative” media pouring gasoline on the fire. There was so much panic over the 2008 election results, people stocked up, economized, and sparked major push-back movements. The panic blinded us to the truth that our nation was unhealthy, and the biggest positive changes nationwide needed to start then and there.
I have become a very different person since 2008. Whenever I feel like our nation’s foundation is crumbling, I start praying for truth to come out like never before. In many ways, I’ve seen it happen; not just in politics but certain things about myself. I’ve also come to know that I’m not alone in my concerns.
After eight years of fretting over our course as a nation and expecting the worse, we are still around safe and sound and retain most of the freedoms we dreaded losing. Changes that a large number feared would be apocalyptic did not happen any more than the magnitude of positive change everyone was first promised, which did not happen, either.
One thing I’ve learned and believe we all might benefit from keeping in mind is that no matter who gets elected at any level, this never guarantees sudden radical changes will occur (whether positive or negative). The president still has Congress and a judicial system to deal with. Presidents are not Medieval Monarchs. Their word is not law, and most of them never do what they promised to in the first place. Judges and Congress exist to temper the power of the president, who is an “executive” in office. Our local officials balance out higher powers. So, why worry about an executive’s powers unless all the other branches compromise and submit to them at once? How often does that happen?
The most radical change doesn’t start from the top down, but from the bottom up. We the people outnumber all those in power. There may be times when we feel powerless, but we are not. Like it or not, government officials are accountable to us in each election cycle. If we don’t like them, hopefully, we can vote them out next time.
Maybe instead of fretting over the outcome of elections, we can focus on bringing positive changes to our communities. What can we do to make our world a better place? How can we serve to bring about the best for ourselves and others and for our environment? Government should exist in a non-intrusive way to serve us by securing our God-given rights to do these things.
There are many things we can also do to keep our sanity at it’s best during an election year. One good way is to turn off the news and avoid the mainstream media. Not only do I believe it has a bias, it has a reputation for taking things out of context in order to generate false hysteria. I find that among my friends, the people most anxious about the future, most negative about the present, and most angry over the current political climate, either listen to talk radio or watch the news constantly.
How can we maintain our inner peace, with so much constant negativity and fear bombarding us at all times? Shut it off. Unplug. Breathe. The media is not your friend. There’s nothing wrong with being concerned about what’s going on and trying to find out, but there’s a difference between a casual glance at the news and letting it get to you and change your mood. Ask yourself this: should the national news have control over how I feel today?
Another good method for combating election frenzy is to spend time doing and focusing on things you enjoy.
You can also put your trust in a loving Creator who understands all the current circumstances and trust He can always bring about good in every outcome. In the meanwhile, the rest is up to us to be proactive through figuring out the solution to every new problem, no matter how dramatic it is or how much it involves anyone in any position of authority. I believe the healthiest way to pray is that whatever an outcome is, God will still bring good out of it, will still bring us blessings, and continue to reveal the truth about everything to everyone who asks for it. No matter how we react to it at first, having the truth come out is the only way we can grow.
This has been a crazy election year for many reasons. Whoever wins, even though it will make a difference to our future, it doesn’t guarantee a utopia any more than it guarantees gloom and doom. Politicians are imperfect like the rest of us. No matter what they say, do, or promise, we shouldn’t either deify or totally loathe everything about them. But we should hold them accountable to the degree that we can.
No matter what happens, the largest and most positive effective changes nationwide still start with what we the people do from the bottom up.
– J.D. Bishop