I watch TV, I see the ads. But my goodness, I’m just not frightened of all the things I’m supposed to be afraid of! (Maybe my gene pool is turned upside down.) So, I’m forced to deal with this. I have to admit that I’m not afraid of: border crossers or asylum seekers; the media (though some advertisers weird me out); people who don’t look like me; more guns/no guns/more taxes/no taxes. I’m not even afraid of Democrats! This is troubling. Sort of.
I’ve lived long enough to know that fear is an effective motivator. Doesn’t mean things turn out well, but it works. I’ve also lived long enough to know there is an antidote to fear — the power of hope.
Hope has proven, to me at least, to be more unifying, more powerful, more joyful, more fulfilling and more motivating than just about anything else. I find it in many people and places — and a uniquely American place is our constitution and rule of law where respect for one another (no matter who you are), for one’s property (no matter where or how you live), and for one another’s faith (no matter what it is) is embedded. Respect generates hope. But, respect is a lot harder to do than fear, isn’t it?
Mutual respect is foundational to so many things, so many better things among people. If nothing else, it leads to less fear, a lot less.
So this Election Day, I will vote against fear wherever I see or hear it. I will vote for respect, for you, for me, for everybody else. More importantly, the day after the election I will continue to reject fear. I will foster respect — mutual respect — wherever I can and live in the hope that respect thrives as part of our American Way and will carry each day forward.
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