Although this post is specifically directed to U.S. readers, the suggestions can help in any potentially confrontational situation.
After the Republican and Democratic conventions, I realized that I wasn’t looking forward to the coming three months. Some very sharp divisions had emerged, and I had feelings about the candidates that differed from those of close friends.
I didn’t want to argue. I didn’t want to prove that I was right. With peace in mind, I set out to determine how I could survive August, September, and October. Here’s my list of tools.
1. My Friends are More Important Than My Opinions.
I treasure my friendships. I do not treasure my political opinions. In the end, no matter who wins the election, I will need my friends.
2. I Don’t Want My Ego to Be Running This Show.
In the final analysis, my political opinions are no more than an extension of my ego. My ego is the one who has to be right and who has to have agreement that it’s right. I want to live outside that constricting space.
3. Kindness is More Important Than Correctness.
I may disagree with people, but it’s more important to care about them.
4. It’s Helpful to Spend Less Time on Facebook.
There are many, many opinions on Facebook. I am tempted to respond to the absolutely ridiculous things that some people are saying. Such temptations should be resisted. One way to avoid temptation is to listen to a guided meditation instead of reading an idiotic post.
5. Life Goes On.
Unless it doesn’t, in which case it was really a waste of time and energy to get aggravated about political issues.
6. The Present Moment Is What Matters.
In the present moment, there are no ballots, political debates, or disagreements. There is only the spacious Now, and how I live it will determine how all following moments unfold.