Thursday, November 8, 2012

It’s About You – Not the Other Guy

by M. J. Joachim
The election is over, and I’ll admit, I am pretty bummed about the results. Being Catholic has little to do with it – though I’d be lying if I said my faith didn’t influence my vote. Of course it did, since it means so much to me. I voted for humanity, religious freedom, dignity and life for all. I would have voted for the same things no matter what faith I am, because these are important issues, and our Constitution promises to protect them. I stood for what is already in place, and against things that might jeopardize them.

It’s a fine line with all the rhetoric and loopholes. Everyone has an agenda, a scoop to get and a storyline to create.

Look at mainstream media, if you don’t believe me. They’re supposed to be neutral! You wouldn’t know it by their broadcasts. Hey, if everything is hunky dory, they’ve got no storyline at all – better to promote hype, create drama and let division write the stories for them. Talk about an easy gig!

Politicians are even worse! Most of their storylines are nothing more than hate spew against their opposition…not just the candidates running against them either. These guys take on everybody…uh, what’s that line about a woman scorned? Replace it with politician, but only if you’re brave enough!

Then there’s you and me…

We’re the ones who truly want what’s best for this country, and most of us aren’t against anyone at all. We’re for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We simply don’t always agree on how to ensure these things in a country as vast and controversial as ours.

I unfriended a few people on Facebook this past week, and a few people unfriended me too….all over politics. I was (probably) unfriended for sharing viewpoints people didn’t like. Believe me. I did my best to share polite opinions, as opposed to bashing the other side ones. I unfriended for blatant hate speech, and it wasn’t just my “opposition” I unfriended.

Sadly, there are a lot of people who (may or may not) know what they even believe in. All they really know is that they’re against the other guy. However, when I vote, it’s not against anyone – it’s for what I believe in, and it relates to my patriotic duty to be counted for what I think is best for my great country.

Wouldn’t you know? There are a whole lot of “the other side” voters who feel the same way. They didn’t vote against me. They voted to stand by their opinions and make their voices heard too.

I’m friends with a lot of people who disagree with me. Guess what? They’re decent human beings, or I wouldn’t be friends with them.

I remember when I wanted to get my marriage blessed in the Catholic Church. We started out with a civil marriage like a lot of people. One of the things we talked about with the priest was whether or not we’d raise the kids Catholic. (I was returning to my faith, my husband was supporting my decision, but not becoming Catholic.)

In the course of the discussion, I was open and honest. I told our priest, “My husband was good enough when I married him, and he’s good enough now.” I expressed that our children would have the same loving home they’ve always had, and that we’d both teach them to love and serve God.

Naturally, they’d be exposed to my Catholic faith in the process. We both agreed we’d do our best not to confuse them, especially since some people and faiths can be quite critical of the Catholic faith.

So it is with elections. People make up their own minds about what they want to believe. They follow their hearts, dreams and hopes for this great country of ours. They participate in so many ways, engaging in the democratic process. That said, I know and appreciate some really fabulous democrats – people who voted for the other guy. I wouldn’t trade them for anything, because they’re good people! We just have different opinions about a few things.

I don’t know if it’s relevant to this discussion or not, but several years later, my husband caught me completely off-guard, when he announced he was converting to the Catholic faith. I never pushed him or demanded this of him. I love him, differences and all. I always have and always will.

Perhaps that’s the point. We don’t need to take sides and spew hate when we don’t agree with each other. We need to seek the common good, trust in God and love each other. As a wise man once told me…none of this is about the other guy anyway, it’s all about you and how you strive to become the best person you can and will ever be.

That’s all for now, kind followers J Wishing you peace and good cheer,

M. J.

©2012 All Rights Reserved
Photo Credit: Massimo Catarinella, Creative Commons Attribution