06 Nov A post-election-day-candy-bar conundrum
I woke up yesterday angry at America. Angry at the world! And angry at my kids. Someone ate the Reese’s peanut butter cup right off my dresser, the one that I’d been saving, the one, truth be told, I took without asking right out of my son’s Halloween candy stash. Found the wrappers in the trash can, right within view, no hiding that. When confronted, neither my son nor daughter admitted to having eaten it. Could my husband, who is out of town, have eaten it? Nope, he texts me. Back to the kids. My son did his “I’m lying but pretending not to be” shrug, twice, and I shrugged it right back at him. He also claimed to have completed all his homework on Election Day – back to that in a minute – on his day off. Nope. Lying again. I looked straight at him and said, “I don’t understand why saying you didn’t eat a candy bar that I know you ate is worth defending.” At no point, however, did I admit that I had taken it right from the stash strewn over his floor. So that technically it was his. I was waiting for him to admit it first. Which being 13 he was not likely to do.
A future politician in the making. Look me right in the eyes and say, No, I did not eat that candy bar. No, I did not have sexual relations with that woman Monica Lewinsky.
A mother, molding her son into a future politician: Who ate my candy bar? The one I took without you knowing from your stash, and am now making you wrong for? The one that I thought briefly about telling you I took from you, but stopped myself because I thought it would undermine the lesson I was trying to teach you? You know, the lesson about not lying?
Back to election day. Yes, I voted, and yes, I believe whole heartedly that every single person who has the right to SHOULD vote, should EXERCISE that right, and yes it saddens and infuriates me that people blow that off. It is, however, a bit anticlimactic to vote in NYC. It was moderately exciting in the primary, mostly because I wanted to boot Rangel out, and yet looking at that ballot with his name on it, I knew I wouldn’t vote for his Republican challenger. Wouldn’t go THAT far. Yet what kind of vote was that?
I’m pondering the mentality of people who don’t vote. They don’t think their vote counts? Or counts for something? Yet we’ve all heard the stories of people risking their lives to vote, to even just get the right to vote. What is that dynamic that occurs, where you want whatever’s on the other side of what you have? We work so hard to create schools our kids want to go to, because now, we have to make them fun and interesting so that they’ll WANT to go, yet in Afghanistan etc. girls are literally dying to go to school. And how to make my kids understand that? That this IS a life of privilege that they lead.
I’m avoiding what I sat down here to write about. OK, the Republicans have taken control of the Senate. I’ve been so focused on avoiding the thoughts about not having that happen that I don’t have any idea what their vision is, what their plan is. Drill in the Artic? Defeat marriage equality bills? Do anything in their power to stifle President Obama? Open up fracking in the mountains near my country home? Dismiss equal pay and equal rights bills? Deny climate change? Do people really still want to do all those things?
Maybe the Republicans do have it all figured out. Maybe they know the way to run the country, the world. Maybe I should listen to their vision, engage with them, trust them. My fear gets in the way of that, mostly around contraception, LGBT rights, escalating war, freedom of religion, and climate change.
My anger turns to sadness. I am not doing enough. I am not making a great enough impact in this world. I am too caught up in Reese’s peanut butter cups, and being appalled at the apparent willingness of my son to lie to me, appalled by the mother that I am that would raise such a child.
And fear. Fear that there is no way for me to make the kind of impact that makes a significant difference. I imagine the entire Congress in one of my transformational workshops. I imagine starting with City Hall here in NYC, creating an environment where everyone challenges themselves and their own conscious, to, in the words of Spike Lee, and what I tell my children all the time, “do the right thing.”
My blog writing was interrupted by a call from my sister. She reminds me of her organic model of transformation. It all starts with our inner circle, and asking, “What is the right thing to be doing right now?” So off I go to refocus on the day, to what’s next. Will I go as far as to reveal to my son that I was the one who took his candy without asking first? Or will I continue to be the righteous one, protecting myself, while knowing in my heart that this is one miniscule example of how committed we are to being right, translating into a larger example of government that is driven by who is right and who is wrong, while shirking individual responsibility? I challenge myself to the former, thereby starting with my innermost circle, myself. Here goes.
Liz Wolfe is a transformational workshop trainer and abundance coach, who employs a model of personal responsibility to connect people passionately to their visions and empower them to create tangible and extraordinary results now. She will be leading a Basic Workshop on November 19, 2014, an intensive experiential training with curriculum that inspires people to examine and challenge their historical beliefs while inventing and setting into motion an unprecedented future. For more information go to www.abundance-prosperity.com.
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