Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Now That You Have Cast Your Stones.. I Mean Votes!

It's been a long month... oh wait, that's right, it's only November 6th! Pardon my sarcasm but it's been quite a long process... this presidential thing. Facebook has been a dumping ground for biased opinions, hate posts, misleading information and frankly I am over it, and glad that it is coming to a close tonight.... or at least the election is coming to a close I am sure the comments will spew for months to come. Despite all of the negativity, I have managed to stay positive because I do not allow myself to get all wrapped up in the hooplah! I am tired of people trying to persuade me one way or the other by shoving things down my throat full force; I am an American who is entitled to my opinion and so are you... isn't that one of the things we love about this country? Yep... thought so.

The sad truth is that many people (notice I did not say all people) who feel so strongly about this election are not informed... or at least not fully informed, they watch biased television stations, listen to biased radio shows and refuse to listen to anything "the other side" has to say unless it's in a debate. People have cast stones, placed judgement upon and grossly disrespected our current President, and I have expressed through other blog posts that I am ashamed of this behavior. Not to mention that it does not take a mastermind to figure out that in order to cast an educated vote you need to hear both sides in an unbiased setting. I am not talking about a debate... that is hardly an atmosphere to get to know the "person", we are electing, that is only getting to know the "debater" we will elect, and both traits matter. We need a fighter who will fight for our rights, but we also need  a person who cares about everyone... who has everyone's interest in mind and who can understand and empathize the needs of EVERY American, not just one group or another. The person has to be open minded enough to make decisions that are fair to ALL citizens, despite what they themselves may morally believe. It's like being a juror... you have to make your decisions based on the facts even if it goes against what your religion or morals tell you. Because of that, it is NOT an easy job, in fact; it's the hardest title to hold.

I had an idea, an experiment of sorts. I did it mainly because I was curious what would happen, who would "like"  and who would comment on unbiased, non-prompted  interview comments conducted by the editor of an unbiased magazine that has been around for 90 years... Readers Digest. So... Last week, I began posting excerpts from an interview with President Obama on my Facebook Page. I did not disclose who made the comments, and I did not say where they came from. I simply said that they were "something I read once" that inspired or touched me in some way, and that was not a lie.

What I found was this... many of the Obama hater's who have done nothing but post derogatory comments and links on their pages over the past several months and weeks actually liked and commented on the posts in a positive way. Some of the people are classmates, some are family, and some are merely acquaintances, but regardless of who they are, I love and accept everyone for  where they stand even if I don't agree with them.  It was really interesting to see who actually liked what Obama was saying... I did not post anything political, just things that had more to do with the heart of the person, and to me... that matters just as much as the political side if not more. It made me wonder if all opinions were kept anonymous, if all debates were not party specific, if people would vote the same way. We are raised prejudice... or not, we are raised to root for one sports team or another and we are raised in political parties that carry into our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren. Does our opinion really reflect who WE are and how WE feel or is it how we have been influenced or perhaps in some cases even brainwashed?

The other thing that has crossed my mind during this process is that the very people who seemed to be frantic about this election claim to be people of faith. I am a person of faith.. and because of that, I truly believe with all of my heart that the best man will win, God's got this... so who am I to judge who the best man is? Do I have an opinion? Of course I do, and I have my reason's for believing that Obama should get another 4 years, just as I am sure you have your reason's for why he should or should not. I respect your opinion, so respect mine, that's all I ask.

I will now share the things I posted on my Face Book page (what I actually posted will be highlighted within the excerpts below in a different color) I hope that you will continue to read...  they also interviewed Mitt Romney, and I will share his comments as well, which I did not share during my experiment since the experiment was geared more towards Obama hater's.

The moral of this blog post is this... we are all in this together, despite our differences and once you truly accept that maybe you will come to realize that just because you feel someone is not the best candidate to run our country does not mean you should strip them of their genuine persona and good intentions. Casting stones is the same thing as bullying, and I can tell you that if Obama were your child, you would not be so quick to agree with the people who were calling him names. I encourage you to read more, learn more and try to forget how you were raised as you vote in the next election. Read unbiased interviews, watch unbiased shows and listen to radio shows who hear things from both sides in something other than a debate.

And just for the record in case someone decides to call me out, my honesty speaks now... No, I did not vote in this election, mainly because I forgot to register in my new county but another part of me had full faith the best man would win.

Excerpts taken from the interview between 
the editor of Reader's Digest, President Obama, and Mitt Romney

RD: I have read that your mother told you "If nothing else, I've given you an interesting life." What kind of life do you want to give to your daughters?
Obama: Well, they have already had an interesting life, the people I know who are happiest in addition to having wonderful families, are also people making a contribution. Each of us finds or own way to make a contribution. I will probably warn them away form politics, (laughs) but whatever path they choose, I hope that they will be thinking about what it's doing for other people. Because, I've told them this before, "I firmly believe that at the end of your life, when you look back, there are going to be two things you remember. It's gonna be the love you had for friends and family and the moments that love expressed itself. And then there are the moments that you helped somebody out. I think that's what shapes your life and gives it meaning." 
(17 people liked the quote, more than half of them openly bash President Obama on a regular basis.)

RD: Can you sum up in one word the kind of life you have given your sons?
Mitt Romney: Opportunity

RD: You write a book, about your first term as president What's the title?
President Obama: Wow! It always takes me a long time to think of [book] titles. It's just like thinking of our daughters' names names. I remember we were in the hospital for the first 48 hours trying to figure out, all right, what are we gonna call this one? I think the theme of my first term would be persistence... Somehow I think the title would speak to just sticking with it.

RD: If you had to write a book about your campaign experience what would the title be?
Mitt Romney: The title of this campaign... The Longest Journey

Now in my Facebook post, I asked this question:
If you were in trouble, and your world was falling apart around you and you found these two book titles on a table which one would you pick up to read?
A. Persistence
B. The Longest Journey
15 people gave an opinion and 9 of them said Persistence. And yep.. you guessed it, more than half bash Obama.

RD: What's the most memorable day you've ever had in church. excluding weddings and baptisms and things of that nature?
President Obama: When I was working with a bunch of Catholic churches on the South Side [of Chicago]. I hadn't been raised going to church regularly. But here I was working with these churches, and I thought,I need to start going to church a little more. I remember the first time that I went to a very small storefront church in Chicago. It was an African American church, a Baptist church. " I remember the first time I ever went to a small storefront church, it was a baptist church. There probably weren't more than a hundred people in the congregation and maybe ten people in the choir. But the joy an energy that they projected in that church---and everybody was singing. I remember starting to cry during this service just because you could see these were mostly folks who were working-class, never had a lot of money, didn't have a lot of material possessions. Many of them were middle-aged or older and probably had experienced prejudice in their lives or certainly hardship. To see how their faith and God's grace could lift them out of their daily circumstances was really moving to me. I think those early visits started my own faith journey." (14 people liked the quote, more than half of do not support Obama)

RD: What's the most memorable day you've ever had in church. excluding weddings and baptisms and communions?
Mitt Romney: Being asked to become the pastor of a congregation. That is a responsibility that is given to individual members [in the Mormon faith], as opposed to a full-time paid clergy, as in other churches. And I was asked by one of my church's leaders to take responsibility for becoming the pastor of a congregation, and that experience opened my eyes to the challenges and hopes of many different people of many different backgrounds. 

Another quote I posted that was not in the interview was this:
President Obama: "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." (6 people liked the post, not sure where two of them stand but the rest do not support Obama)

Unfortunately my weekend got busy and I did not get to post this last one... however as I am blogging and I have learned that Obama has won the election... I will share it now.

RD: You've said you are very even-keeled. But everyone gets down from time to time. Do you have a strategy you use or a trick to get back up? Do you have a theme song, Mr. President? (everyone laughs)
President Obama: I will tell you that my kids will always yank me out of stuff. So we are pretty religious about family dinner at 6:30. And the great thing about living above the store is no matter how busy I am, I can walk takes a minute. I can sit down, spend an hour with my girls, and come back down and work. But it pulls me out of whatever my personal struggles or challenges are, and it's one of the great things about being a parent. You're always reminded, Oh, this is not about you. It's about these kids, their lives, and how you make them better. 
And then I am a big believer in exercise. If I'm sort of in a funk, going out and just breaking a sweat, doing something. We have a gym upstairs, and in addition to the usual equipment and the weights, there is a little punching bag there.... (everyone laughs)

RD: Every leader, executive, every person wakes up some days and just has a bad day.Just can't be happy or get pumped up. Do you have a trick or a strategy that you use to get your energy up? Do you have a theme song?
Mitt Romney: If I have a bad hair day, I just think, Well, it will be an OK hair day tomorrow. Just put your head down and go. Life is a bit of a roller coaster, which is, you get on and there's no stopping along the way. There are some days when you feel like this is pretty tough, and there are the days that are exhilarating, but you just keep on going.

If you are still reading... thank you. You may have learned something by continuing on and sticking it out, but regardless you know where I stand and how I see things. We are supposed to love unconditionally, with an open heart, and I will continue to spread this message as long as I live.  It was a long blog tonight, but a passionate one. My "friend" numbers may go down on this post... but I will also learn who my friends really are.