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November 06, 2012

Politics: Please Leave the Attacks and Contempt Out of the Conversation

IStock_00optionsllThe elections are finally here. The next President of the United States will be named within the next 48 hours and our nation will have spoken. This election has been an extremely close race, with strong feelings coming from all sides (Democrats, Republicans, Independents and everyone in between). I have no doubt that tomorrow these strong emotions will also be prevalent. Hopefully the adults throughout our nation will make an effort to share their emotions responsibly by protecting, with their words and actions, the dignity of all involved. To date, many adults have sadly failed in this regard.

I’m a firm believer in men and women alike finding their voices and speaking up for what they believe. In fact, much of my work centers on helping women find their voice. I am not a believer, however, in bashing others in the process. I’m well aware that not everyone agrees with this thinking. The political commentator Ann Coulter,recently gave an interview regarding her use of the word “retard” in relation to President Obama  (http://dailycaller.com/2012/10/25/ann-coulter-sticks-by-retard-tweet-says-screw-them-to-the-word-police-audio/.) It is a stunning interview that highlights the phenomenon of grandiosity in action. Ms. Coulter’s insistence that it is okay to call someone a retard, moron, imbecile or loser speaks to a sad state of affairs in our country today. Too many people believe that their beliefs, feelings or outrage justify their abuse and contempt of others. They blame their toxic response on the other person’s behavior, views or actions and don’t for a moment look at their own actions.

Plain and simply, this justification of contempt, disdain and verbal attacks is not okay. How is it that we teach the children of our nation to not call others stupid, to be respectful and to be kind, yet we don’t demand that the adults do the same thing? There is no justification for bashing, verbally abusing or degrading others. We do not have the right to emotionally harm someone else because we don’t like how the other person thinks or acts. We cannot expect our children to treat us or anyone else with respect if we don’t treat others with respect. And finding our voice does not mean that we try to drown out the voices of others.

During this election, I challenge the adults in our country to truly model the behavior we would like our children to master. We can speak about our beliefs without talking about what a loser the opponent is. We can make an intelligent argument without knocking someone else’s intelligence. And we can take the high road even when it seems as if far too many are choosing a different path. I have faith that all of us can hear the outcome of this election without going ballistic on those around us.  I challenge each and every one of you to hear the outcome with grace, strength and compassion. Do not denigrate anyone simply because you disagree with their choices, beliefs or political philosophy.  Be worried, feel strongly about your beliefs, share your opinions…and do all of these with a Grounded Powerful Strength (GPS), NOT an aggressive, attacking one. The core philosophy in a GPS is Do No Harm; there is no justification for harming another. Let’s begin to live as if this were so.

Challenge: When it comes to sharing your beliefs about issues, remember to think through your thoughts and share the points that have impacted your beliefs. Simply saying that a certain person is a loser or that an idea is stupid doesn’t change someone’s thinking. Help them to see your reasoning and perhaps they will have more insight into why your beliefs have merit. Stick to the facts and stop attacking the people.


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