Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
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Many have commented on the year 2016 with great remorse and sorrow. We lost many great lives and some people also lost elections. The situation on the ground is restless and tense. Many are organizing protests and boycotts to show their disdain. Somewhere in excess of 41% of American registered voters did not vote in the presidential election. It is equally tragic to not have the right to vote as it is to not bother to use the right to vote. Our issues are bigger than the trivial excuses given for the status quo. We are on the verge of some political and economic changes of great proportion, in my opinion.
The phrase beggars can’t be choosers works for me in our political atmosphere because so many refused to make any choice. I hear a lot of loose talk about civil rights, freedom, and the run of the mill American token slogans about what we the people deserve or need to demand. If we could demand that our fellow citizens participate in our democracy we would be wise. Without participation, without any involvement with the political process the citizenry forfeits any right to equal treatment under the law. Protesting makes some kind of statement, but will not address the ignorance and lack of trust running rampant.
I believe that to improve the lives of Americans across the country we need to involve everyone. Choosers are not beggars, but since we passed up that option we will go around with begging bowls for years. We beg to fill the political party coffers once more to begin this process of electing our leaders. I don’t think this is a positive way to remedy our problems. If we involve and engage with our community right where we live and act with discernment and ethical will we can make positive change. End this begging, whining, complaining, and ragging on “the other side”. Go to work learning what you can to be able to make a real choice. Make choosing a priority to replace judging. Make smart decisions about the food you eat, the entertainment you consume, the content you read, and the contacts with whom you associate. Decide to pay with cash rather than build up interest debt. Free yourself from that burden so many carry. Choose wisely, choose constantly, and choose with care. Exercise your right to choose with discernment, and refine that ability.
I am hearing the same message from all the books and posts I read these days. In a world that conforms all too easily it is essential to be particularly true to one’s self. My teacher Chris Brogan just hit me this morning with some excellent thoughts on what is lost when one fits in with the crowd these days. Popularity and authenticity are not the same thing, and sometimes are completely opposed to each other. Our politics reflect a chaos and lack of discipline that runs through society. Mob mentality seems to be taking over our thinking in America.
I wonder if we can step back and take individual action to change the crazy status quo in our country. I wonder if we can stand up for law and order and for justice at the same time. We have reached a tipping point that demands we be awake and aware of the reality we are creating. What do you think, gentle reader? Obviously vote. What else can we do?
The role of rhetoric in politics is to convince voters to take action. Politicians make speeches and conduct public meetings in order to share their views and opinions for the voters’ consideration. There is a difference between absolute empirical truth and rhetorical “truth”. Words meant to sway opinions are crafted carefully to leave impressions on the reader or listener. Theory rather than fact is the realm of rhetoric. Theoretic situations and projections onto the future can not be measured. They are emotional and unpredictable in their very nature. When a candidate tells us what will be happening when he becomes president he is using rhetoric to stimulate our imagination.
Cultural beliefs can’t be proven, but are held by a group to be factual. Prejudice is one of the many forms of cultural belief. Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are another kind of cultural belief. Now in American politics there are at least two camps with firm and opposing views about the Constitution. When a lawyer goes to court his arguments are built on rhetorical truths, but his emotional appeal to a judge or jury is often aimed at changing cultural beliefs. Tribal or group dynamics are hard to predict. Our two party system is going through a test in this election cycle. I wonder which way the cookie will crumble in November. I urge the gentle readers to vote and consider carefully all the facts while making a decision. This election is already a game changer. Your vote matters more than it did in the past. Please register to vote, and show up to make your voice heard.
My ballot has been mailed. I have never missed an election since I have had the right to vote. I am not often thrilled with the outcomes, but I think it is my responsiblity to make sure my voice is heard. There are many close elections this year. If you have not registered for early voting or otherwise prepared, please help yourself to this handy dandy tool. It is not too late to make a difference in this election. Gentle Reader, if you are an American your country needs to hear from you.