Just think: starting tomorrow you can stop listening to those annoying political ads that have become the bane of your very existence. Please tell me I'm not the only one who has stopped a) watching TV, b) listening to the radio, and c) looking at the side of the road.....
The bickering of this election (like most others) has nearly driven me mad. In most radio interviews that I've heard (before I stopped listening to the radio of course), the interviewer asks the politician "What will you do about X?" and the politician turns it into a (usually unrelated) attack on why their opponent is no good at Y. The fact that our politicians are both good at attacking people they don't agree with and bad at articulating their objectives if elected sure does put the fear in the belly.
But these political arguments (and my visceral response to them) have brought to mind a pearl of wisdom that usually sounds ridiculous at first but makes more sense the longer you think about it: You hate in other people what you hate in yourself. I've often found that to be true, and sometimes its easier to just not think about it rather than realize that your coworker's avoidance of reality looks strangely like your own.
This year I've been thinking a lot about that piece of wisdom, and these political debates have brought it to the forefront. 'What are you going to do about it?' I so want to ask my politicians this, but instead have started asking it of myself: what are you going to do about it. Dana: if you didn't spend so much time complaining, what would you be able to do? What would you have time to do?
Hearing myself complain puts me in mind of those complaining politicians, which shuts me up pretty fast. I can't say I've become the queen of taking action in lieu of complaining (I'm on the baby step method, a la What About Bob), but I have held my tongue more. Even more important, I've tried to keep the complaints out of my brain more too. That's kind of difficult when [insert your favorite politician here] is on the TV spouting their lies, but hey, I figure those people will always be around.
Tom and I have been complaining about the trash on the side of the road for months (we live next to a National Park, which kind of adds insult to injury). We walk down the road and complain about the trash, we drive down the road and complain about the trash, and we keep Barley from eating the trash when we take her for walks. I've spent a lot of time and energy complaining about the damned trash, but there it still sits. That kind of makes me feel like a politician.
On Thursday, after I raced to the polls to submit my early ballot, I picked up the trash on the side of the road. I really can't believe it took me this long. Barley can't believe it either. This is her "wow that's a lot of trash for a quarter mile" face:
I'm glad I picked up the trash. It felt good. I was going to take Barley on a walk anyway, so taking a trash bag along wasn't any extra effort. It was a small thing to do, and no one who drives down the road will probably notice. But I'm hoping this will help train my brain to act instead of talk in the future. We'll see. Could be a lost cause. But the road sure looks nice.
In respect for action, change, and all things good, please log off the black eyed susan (but come back tomorrow!!) and vote!
PS. Are you good at taking action instead of complaining? Any tips for my griping mind? I'd love to hear what you've done - you can be inspiration for us all! Please leave a comment with your thoughts.