Sunday, August 26, 2018

Grace in Governance

The Mystery within...
I have been posting to my blog/website since April 1, 2013.  In my March 2, 2015 post titled, Presidential Attributes, I listed five traits I wanted my next president to have.  They were:  1) emotional intelligence; 2) reflective decision making; 3) knows our children are the future for our country; 4) has empathy and compassion for those struggling; 5) understands the pursuit of wealth for wealth alone will destroy us all.  I believe those are traits anyone running for political office should aspire too.  It now feels like we are at an evolutionary crossroad since how we govern, or allow ourselves to be governed, can determine our progress or decline as a people.  We need grace in governance.  

From November 4 to December 16, 2013 I summarized the evolutionary biologist, David Sloan Wilson’s book, “The Neighborhood Project—Using Evolution to Improve my City, One Block at a Time.”  It took seven posts to summarize Wilson’s book that uses scientific research to understand what furthers our progress as human beings.   The following links are to those seven post titles and the “What if…” question that ended each post.  

11/4/13, Life in a Pinball Machine “What if we all bumped into the more paternal and maternal among us more often?”

11/11/13, Who’s in Your Neighborhood?  “What if we all learned the right questions to ask that lead us to become more healthy and productive citizens?”

11/18/13, So Who Are We? “What if we reflected each day on our struggles?”

11/25/13, Siren and Flashing Lights  “What if we could always stop and reflect when bumping into unpleasantness?”

12/2/13, Transformational People  “What if we created a more positive environment through praise?”

12/9/13, Looking with Evolutionary Eyes  “What if we look with evolutionary eyes that go beyond self-interest; eyes that respect and highlight diversity, and search for ways to end global poverty?

12/16/13, Potential in Vacant Lots  “What if we all understood the role we play in each other’s evolutionary process?  

What if we all made a list of the grace we want in our political candidates?    

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Be an Informed Voter

The Mystery within...
The following was my letter to the editors of the News Graphic and Ozaukee Press:  

I have sometimes voted with trepidation because I didn’t always feel well informed when marking my ballot.  I long for a requirement that all candidates provide a succinct summary, not more than three paragraphs, on how each one plan to serve us if elected.  This information would be readily available to all.  I’ve been told, “That will never happen.”  But I did get one good tip to educate myself, which was to go to There, you can enter your address and see a sample ballot for the district in which you live.  (Current gerrymandering of district boundaries makes this information important so you will know which candidates will now appear on your ballot.)  The upcoming August 14 primary field of candidates is narrowed since we can only vote in one party.  So I copied, pasted and printed my chosen party’s sample ballot for my area, and then went to work searching the Internet for my area’s candidate information.  I’m now better informed.               

I see great paradoxical promise in the scary political turmoil of our time that can give us all pause to reflect on our past, present and future.  How our politics, and we as a people evolve, really lies in our own hearts, minds, hands and ballots.  Author Parker J. Palmer links politics to our humanity in his book, “Healing the Heart of Democracy:  The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit.”  Following are some excerpts of his thoughts that will give you an idea of what makes real democracy possible when we understand:  “…we are all in this together…profoundly interconnected…accountable to one another; …practice deep hospitality…invite ‘otherness’; …hold tension creatively…to expand our hearts…to generate insight, energy and new life; …speak our truth checking and correcting it against the truth of others; …companionship of two or three kindred spirits can help us find the courage we need to speak and act as citizens.”
It is easy to get totally discouraged with the messiness in our politics.  But we the people can help create a politics worthy for all.  Have sheer compassion for another’s fears.  Know it takes a healthy village to raise a healthy child to create a healthy future for us all.  What if our scary political turmoil is designed to awaken us to a new era of understanding and growth in our humanity?   

Please take time to be informed and vote August 14.