So today is the day after. The day after a day that I didn’t think would affect me as much as it did. As I said earlier, my mother always told me not to talk about politics, religion, or money. And I don’t, honest! However, yesterday was an extraordinary day in the truest sense of the word. So bear with me.
Barack Obama won!
So, is this going to change the world? It depends on what you mean. Will it change the way the world sees us? YES!! Will it change us as a nation? I think that depends on how you define change. Hopefully it will once again allow us to start talking about alternate viewpoints without being labeled “unpatriotic” or “undemocratic”.
I hope that one of the biggest changes will be that more of us will begin to model our behaviour on Obama. During the debates and the election, he was strong enough to agree with his opponent. He didn’t use words that have crept into our lexicon such as confrontation. Instead he used agreement as a point to explore differences. I can only hope and believe that more of us will begin to do this in our everyday life, and bring us back from such anger as we’ve been expressing over the past several years.
You know, I was doing what I call relationship research recently. What that means is that I comb the web looking for articles and stories on couples and how they resolved their crises or keep their relationships strong. My poor husband — he is my guinea pig in all of this!
OK, so where was I? That’s right, talking about relationship research and Barack Obama. I can tie this all together, I promise! In my relationship research, I read that instead of agreeing and then saying “but”, use “and”. So, when my husband is talking about how he helps out with the chores (which he does), the conversation would normally go something like this:
Him: I vacuumed!
Me: You did vacuum, but you left the vacuum cleaner plugged in and in the middle of the floor!
Him: But I vacuumed…?
Now let’s see what it would look like using “and”
Him: I vacuumed!
Me: Yes you did, and next time can you please put the vacuum cleaner away?
One little word, and so much more happiness at home. How does this go with Obama? He uses “and”. If not the word, then the intent behind it. He finds something to agree on, and builds on that agreement. How much better will the world see us when we find commonalities between their countries and ours, and builds on that agreement rather than using “shock and awe” or the Bush Doctrine?
That is my hope, that as a nation we are seen by everyone, including ourselves, as being better. Better people, better neighbors, better individuals. I have a hope that we are better, and a belief that we can see it and others will too.
ps — it’s now exactly one month later (December 5th), and Obama has moved with unknown speed in stepping into his new role. I’m still excited and proud of being a part of this history being made! Even though we’re in the middle of an economic meltdown not seen since the Great Depression, and wars on many different fronts, I still have hope. Hope that Iwill be better, Hope that we will be better.