The Democratic Party debates do not matter. The outcome of those debates is insignificant. In fact, political debates in general do not matter. It isn’t those debates that will shape the future of our country. But I’ll tell you what will.
Your Choices Matter
The debates will not change our nation. The choices you make about what you will do about those topics will. If you heard a topic and you believe passionately that this area of our country needs to change, you don’t need to wait for election season to make a change. You need to ask yourself, “What am I going to do today to make this change happen?”
Your Voices Matter
The reason you think elections are such a big deal is that for so long you’ve been told that who we elect is who has the power to make the changes in our nation and our world possible. You’ve been told your voice doesn’t matter except when it comes to the poles at election time. And you believe it because that is what you’ve always been told. But your voice matters. And how you express that voice is with the choices that you make today.
Change Begins With You
The change you want to see happen in the world begins with you. It begins with your decision to take action on the problems in our world. It begins with you deciding that you are no longer going to wait for a politician to notice the need or for a corporation to stop their greed. You are personally going to take action to make a difference and you are going to do it today. I promise you if every single person in the world chose to make life better for just one person they met that day, the world would become a better place overnight. And if we kept doing that from now until election day, we would not need to wait for the results to have a country we were proud to call our own and a world that was a more peaceful place to live.
Stop Complaining and Take Action
If it’s important enough to complain about, it’s important enough to take action to resolve. You want to end income inequality? That’s good, and you should want that. Here’s how to do it. Reach down and help someone who has less than you get where you are. You’ll make progress in your dreams and goals, and you’ll feel better about yourself while you’re doing it, too.
You want to end war? That’s great. You should want that. Here’s how to do it. Reach out to someone you don’t know and offer to help them tell their story. Don’t know how to tell a story? Look through my blog. There are plenty of resources to help guide you. If you are an atheist, pick a devout Christian. If you are a Christian, pick a devout atheist – someone who is absolutely convinced there is no God and never could be. If you’re a feminist, pick a chauvinist. If you hate feminists, pick one. Hate homophobes? Pick one. Hate transgenders? Pick one.
The point to the exercise is that you have to stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone and reach out to someone you would never normally choose to get to know. If you can’t do this, why expect your world leaders to be able to create peace when you aren’t willing to work for peace?
There are only three rules that you must follow to do this. 1) You are not to seek to convert them, just to understand them. 2) You are not to judge their journey, just to record it faithfully. 3) You are to begin with the assumption that even if this person might be mistaken, they have valid reasons for their beliefs that you need to know.
Stop Blaming and Take Responsibility
You blame everyone else for the way the world is, and I understand why. You feel like a victim. You feel like you are powerless to stop any of the things that are going on in this world. I understand why you feel that way. I get that you’ve listened to teachers and media moguls who have all told you, by the stories they chose to share with you, that you are a victim. You are oppressed. You are helpless. Yo have no control.
That is the message they want you to believe. They want you to blame everyone else for where you are because they know that if they can keep you blaming everyone else you will never find the power to take control over your future and they can keep you right where they want you. They can manipulate your emotions and get you divided against one another so that you can’t come together and work together to fight the powers that are really running the show. The ones that don’t make it onto the ballot and whose names you’ll never hear because they don’t want you to know they exist. They want you believing that your only ability to make a change is to cast a vote.
You are to blame for where your life is and where the world is. You have created the problems that you face not because you control what other people do or because you have 100% control over what happened to you but because you have always had 100% control over what you chose to do about it and what you chose to do about it was wait for someone else to fix your mess. It isn’t going to happen. You have to own your mess before you can fix it.
As long as you continue blaming the rich, the white, the black, the immigrant, the poor, the lefties, the right-wingers, and whatever other label you decide to apply to the enemies you think are out there, you blind yourself to your ability to fix those problems by changing the choices you make in how you respond to what happens to you. Stand up. Stop waiting. Take action now.
Learn from those who have what you want, don’t blame them for being where they are. Look at what you can do to solve the problems you face and solve the problems you see in the world.
Get Angry, But Get Active
Anger is an appropriate response to injustice that you encounter. There’s nothing wrong with being angry. But figure out why you are angry. What is the source of the injustice? Then take action to fix it. Don’t wait for a politician or a leader or a corporate executive. You make a choice to change things and you take action. That’s how change happens. Each one of us choosing to change things one day at a time.
What Are You Going to Do About It?
What you saw on the Democratic debates last night doesn’t matter. The question I have for you is what are YOU going to do about it? What steps are you personally going to take to change things? Or are you just going to keep blaming and complaining and let things continue to unfold the way they’ve always unfolded?