Our Nation’s Most Important Day, Wednesday

If you’re an American, Tuesday is a very important day. On Tuesday, we will elect a President. But, I think Wednesday will be an even more important day for our country.

As an independent voter, I’ve attempted to discern the candidates’ stance on the issues and to be thoughtful about my choice. While I’ve listened to conservative and liberal viewpoints on news stations, most of us would agree each one asserts an agenda and selects and turns the facts to fit their position. So, I’ve researched each candidate’s personal position papers and direct strategy statements online for their view of the future. I’ve watched the debates and read transcripts of their most important campaign speeches. I’ve tried my best to form my own objective opinion. I cast my vote early by mail.

The first Monday Morning Stretch of every month is “Music Monday,” where I feature a song which is meaningful to me in some way. This month, my choice was really easy. Beautiful World by Dierks Bentley (and featuring Patty Griffin) perfectly articulates my message and my hope for all of us during this critically important week.

Maybe it is just my perception, but it seems to me that this election is one of the most contentious I can recall. Emotions are running high, inflamed by accusations, assumptions, rhetoric, and fear. As you cast your vote on Tuesday and watch the results that evening, here is my great hope: all of us will remember that we have TWO decisions to make on voting day.

The first is our decision about the candidate we feel will lead us best. Our second decision will be, whichever way the vote goes, how we will hold this country, its leaders, our fellow citizens, and our own life in our heart on Wednesday morning.

This is the most important decision, and I’m making it in advance. Because the truth is, whatever the outcome, whoever inherits (or re-inherits) the office, YOU will decide if you remain hopeful, optimistic, secure, abundant, and full of faith… for not even the country’s choice for President can decide that for you. You will decide if you will speak with optimism or negativity, hopefulness and faith, or disdain and fatalism on Wednesday morning to your children, to your co-workers, and maybe most importantly, to yourself.

Will you be a vibrant voice for the future or a depressing one? Will you show respect for the voice of democracy as it speaks and chooses, or will you lose sorely? Will you demonstrate the greatness and faith of an American or will you speak with a sour tone about the future?

We may not have total control over what happens on Tuesday night or the resulting policies, but we have absolute control over how we interpret and respond to those outcomes and events. Whatever you do, don’t follow on Wednesday morning… lead. Lead with an optimistic voice, regardless of the election outcome. Don’t forget that America’s history is fraught with precarious and seemingly hopeless, frightening times: the Spanish flu, Civil War, the Great Depression, two World Wars, Presidential assassinations, multiple recessions, 9-11, and the COVID pandemic. And 244 years later, here we are—still kicking, still debating, still voting, still experimenting, still the best nation on earth. And in four more years, we will do it all over again. And again, and again, and again. This is not the end … unless you buy into that fatalistic viewpoint.

I have faith in our republic, our democracy and in the future of our nation. I believe in the basic good and will of the American people. I’ll swear my allegiance to this nation and her democratically elected President, whoever he is, on November 4th and I will hold in my heart and set my strongest intentions for the brightest view of the future.

Say what you will, but I still believe it’s a beautiful world.

I hope you’ll join me.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched—they must be felt with the heart.”

~ Helen Keller