This week’s blog is not overtly about reading, except as insofar as I am reading the world. I want to tell you how I’m surviving this election. It has been harder than any other, as I’ve heard many others say. For me part of that was having my kids be teenagers, not voting this time, but both of voting age in the next four years. This was a terrible way to introduce them to what I think is one of our greatest freedoms. It was so difficult to talk to them about why I’m voting for my candidate, who was not my first choice. But we don’t always get our first choice candidates, do we? And we still have to vote, sometimes for someone we doubt.
I have tried to stay informed, so I can make the best decision, but while the internet makes so much more information available, it also produces so much that is questionable that staying informed seems harder than ever before. Mainstream media is losing its credibility, and new media sources may be independent, but often are no less biased.
Usually I tell my kids we just have to have faith in the election process, but this time that has been very difficult to maintain, with corruption and voter fraud apparently at every turn. So what do we have faith in?
I have faith that people are essentially good, and that bad behavior (dare I say evil? Yes, this election I think we’ve seen evil) will be curbed by and for the greater good in people. I trust humanity. I trust it to screw up, to stumble, and to err, but I also trust it to rise ultimately—to learn and to love.
I am a Cubs fan, and have been for better than twenty years. If the Cubs can win the World Series, we can survive this election and learn from the trauma it has caused. It has been traumatic. I’m exhausted and full of doubts. Social media has kept each wretched act of this play right in my face for months now, and it has taken a toll. But I’ve been a fan of human beings even longer than I’ve been a fan of the Cubs, and I’m certain we have our own 10-inning Game 7 coming. We just have to keep believing. It might help to sing. Loud. And vote. We all need to vote. And whichever direction we go, we have another tough road ahead of us.
Meanwhile, I’m going to listen to some beautiful music and read a good book and escape for a bit and see what I can do about recovering my balance. When this is over, we’re going to need some metaphysical band-aids to heal the wounds we’ve incurred. I’ll need to be whole myself to take part in that. It’s going to start small, as all important work does—first with my family, and then in larger circles, like ripples in water. That’s my wish for us on this election eve: that we make decisions with the whole country in mind, that, starting from what’s best for our family, we vote for what we want for the world they live in, and that we do our part to effect that world.