I normally would not write or comment on politics but I feel the time has come to voice my thoughts on the 2016 Presidential Election. First and foremost, understand that this is not an endorsement to any of the candidates. Honestly, I have no clue who will get my vote in November.
The motivator and educator in me is constantly asking; how can we put a positive spin on the election. You can turn on your televisions, scroll through Facebook and Twitter and you will be hard pressed to find anything that is sincerely positive. I also get and understand that this is typical in any election. The goal is to look better than your opponent. If you can make them look bad you may have a better chance of winning.
In the world of education however, we tell our students that you should never make somebody look bad or feel bad. As a matter of fact, we want our students to do the opposite. We want our students to embrace differences and celebrate them. We tell our students that you don’t have to agree with someone else but you must show respect to them.
You can imagine how hard this can be given the opposite is happening at our nation’s highest level. How can we put a positive spin on the 2016 election for our students? Quite possibly you are wondering the same as a parent. I’ve come up with a few pieces of advice that can hopefully yield a positive election experience for your children.
Schools throughout the country can take this opportunity to explain how the election and our government works. Parents can do the same. Let your children know that the Constitution provides for a checks-and-balances system. This is to prevent one sector of government from becoming too powerful. Also, talk with your children about what a Democracy is and how they can be an influence. Let them know that when it comes time for it, their vote does count.
Nobody is Perfect
If they are paying any attention at all they will most likely see what is wrong with the candidates before they see what is right. Just like every human being on earth – these candidates are not perfect. This is a great time for you to have a conversation about perfection and failure. Perfection is just not attainable and failure is inevitable. In striving for perfection we must talk about the by-product of failure. We must teach our kids to fail forward and to never give up. If they make a mistake they must own it and learn from it. Just because you are President of the United States does not mean that you have a perfect life. Your children need to know that they were created the way they are for a reason. They should embrace this and be the best they can be at being them. Being true to your person is something that we should never sacrifice. The same goes for our candidates.
Positive Is Positive Does
As mentioned earlier it seems to rain negative everywhere you look. If you are looking for the negative you will see it, and if you are looking for the positive you will see it. Train yourself and your children to see the positives. We do live in a great country. We do have freedoms that many do not. The sun that comes up every single day brings with it another chance and opportunity to embrace the great world we live in. When it casts a shadow of darkness on your life or the presidential election we must make a choice. And that choice must be to be the light. We can’t forget that positivity and negativity are highly contagious. The more positive you are the more positive your children will be. The cure for negativityitis is positivity. Give yourself a full dose of positivity every day.
As we push forward to November let’s not forget the great things that our nation provides. The United States was inhabited by people with a dream. A dream for a better life. Today – you have a dream as well. Educate, fail forward, and shower the world with positives. These are the seeds of hope and with them your dreams can come true. Don’t take life at face-value, richness lies within our hearts.
I’ll leave you with a great quote from Mother Teresa
“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway….”