June 04

How do we fix American politics? Fix yourself

Can you imagine that while FDR was president, the media did not once show him in a wheel chair? Think about that for a second. The whole country and even the journalists had so much respect for the president, that they not once showed him in a vulnerable state. Imagine today, how the opponents would paint him as weak, publish a picture where he could not stand, and actively hurt him and his family. The result, he proved himself to be one of the best presidents in United States history.

Our current culture is one that is completely ironic. While we are more connected, turned on, and plugged in more than ever before, we are also the most disconnected, lonely, and vapid cultures. We count our status by our Facebook friends, our Instagram likes, but many find themselves to feel completely alone. We are so focused on a virtual reality that we have lost tough with our actual reality.

If you look at many peoples lives today, their values seem to be negative rather than positive. If someone new walks into a party, they are viewed as the outsider, and often times spend the party receiving skeptical stares. This comes from an insecurity. If those at the party were completely comfortable with their friendships, they would have no problem reaching out a friendly hand. It is the same scenario in our current political environment. If we were all so comfortable in our political views, we would have no problem hearing what someone had to say, and would offer a conversation with an openness to learning rather than immediate judgement and profiling.

Our generation is lonely. There are few jobs, few ways to get ahead, and a lack of community. We want everything to happen fast. We want relationships fast, jobs fast, money fast, new political legislation fast, food fast. The need for investment has been lost, and instead we want immediate satisfaction. We look at our peers and what they portray their lives to be on social media, and think how we can measure up to the facade. And this right here is the whole problem, it is a facade. It is surface level and there often is nothing underneath the perfect picture.

The idea of morals, of commandments, of honor, of duty, of grace, has been somehow lost in the world of the internet where we think we can only succeed if we tweet, Instagram, Facebook faster and better than the next person. We think of quantity over quality, and all feel a little hole because of it. The emergence of the self help books, of how to achieve success in no time, and other various tittles are a perfect example that we are trying to stick to a status quo, change ourselves into an image, instead of taking the time to invest in ourselves to find out who we are individually, what we want to be, and have the confidence in this sense of self to then form genuine relationships, and treat other human beings with dignity, and grace.

If you think of grace, grace is to be gracious. It is to use words of kindness rather than hate, and it comes from a place of security that comes from a place of knowing who you are. In the whirlwind of our current society, we have forgotten about our personal selves, our spirits, our souls, our hopes, and our dreams. We want to apply a formula and instantly have a picture perfect life, and receive applause from people you may never even meet. Yes, life is hard. People get annoying, you want to quit on a relationship, but we need to value the hardships in our life, understand them, and allow ourselves to grow from them. From this, we can exchange this positivity with another person, with giving someone a helping hand, and having relationships with others that are deep, genuine, and solid.

And, after this awareness of yourself is developed, things start to change. One by one, it is a ripple effect. You start to treat your neighbor with more respect, and then you start to treat your politician with more respect. It is a domino effect of positivity which our world needs right now, and it comes from you.

So, as our generation continues to grow up, we need to take the time to invest in ourselves, and reestablish a period of grace. We need to see the value in having values, and start first with ourselves. To take the time to find out who you are is hard, and you will find a lot of darkness that you may not want to confront. But with values is courage, and as you discover who you are as an individual, you will respect yourself more and extend this respect, and grace, to other people. Instead of living on the surface, go deep. Let us remember morals and see how they help us grow instead of tear us down. When we do this, we may find that the hatred, the bipartisan divide, and the loneliness will change one person at a time.