The mid-term elections are done. For the past 48 hours, pundits from both sides have tried to provide all of us with the “official breakdown” of the results, what it means for the left and what it means for the right.
My question is simple, what does it all mean for you and me? I don’t have the answer but I have an idea as to what could help us all move forward.
So here it is, my open letter to our newly elected officials.
Dear Newly Elected Official,
The campaign is over. The results are in and the time has come to get to work. As you have clearly shown us during the recent weeks, you have strong beliefs and you believe your way is the right way and the only way to solve the difficult issues at hand. You’ve pointed the finger across the aisle and said “if you elect these people, they’ll make matters worse.” Your opponent, well, he’s/she’s said the same thing about you.
So here we are … you came out ahead. People in your district believed in you and think you can help resolve our most pressing concerns.
My hope is that you’ll consider doing so by engaging in meaningful conversations every day.
Through conversations, friendships are formed.
It’s easy to be in a conversation with your friend. Think about the moments when you’ve shared a meal or a cup of coffee with a neighbor, a friend, or even a stranger. These conversations usually have meaning. They give us a glimpse in the life of those around us. They may have different beliefs then we do, but in that moment, in that conversation with them, those things don’t seem to matter.
Through conversation, knowledge is shared.
The more time we spend in conversations with others, the more chances we have of learning something. Conversations broaden our perspective. If we check our ego at the door and open our hearts and minds to the simple act of a conversation, we allow ourselves to be more open to the possibilities. Try it if you can – like my friend Jason Simon says, start with “hello” and see what you can learn from the conversation that will follow.
Through conversations, life happens.
The simple act of having a conversation helps build community. You and I both know that building community is both the most difficult and most inspiring and rewarding thing to be a part of. Through conversations we build community; through conversations we find the third alternative; through conversations we can bring people together.
When all is said and done, it’s up to you Mr and Mrs Newly Elected Official. It won’t be easy but I know you are up to the task. My only request -don’t pass up an opportunity to join the conversation or to be in conversation. When you do you’ll quickly realize that:
Through conversations, friendships are formed;
Through conversations, knowledge is shared; and,
Through conversations, life happens and finds meaning.
Congratulations and best wishes.
One of your constituents
Photo courtesy of http://www.kitchenrat.com