Today is election day and everyone is paying attention. As I walked away from the election booth today, I started thinking about what we do as an organization that helps families come together. We teach people how to communicate more effectively. We help kids see their parents’ point of view and help parents have tolerance for their child’s beliefs. We show them that they love and care for each other, which is why they get so passionate and emotional about things that are effecting their family. We teach them to listen to each other and validate each other’s feelings. We help them use “I” statements rather than accusing each other of injustices. We help them to find common ground and respect each other’s differences. We work with them to stay in the present and not focus on the past or worry too much about the unwritten future.
When each family walks in for therapy or Family Coaching, these are the things we focus on. Our hope, on this election day, is that as a society we can do the same. We hope that everyone can look at their neighbor and try to see their perspective, validate their feelings and then work to manage our own behaviors in a way that promotes common ground and forward movement. May our society focus on the present and what we need to do now to work as a passionate, informed and loving nation that wants every voice heard, every feeling validated and every person respected as an individual. This is hard work because every one of us is engrossed in our daily lives, trying to make ends meet and often falling short on time, energy and money. But may we step back and recognize each others’ rights as individuals while looking at the big picture. For a family is only as strong as its weakest member. This is the person that often gets blamed and ostracized. This is the person we often stop listening to out of frustration.
So let us all purposefully listen to each other, especially to those who feel they have not been heard. Let us all work together to make our weakest members of society stronger, and give us the strength to show compassion to those who do not think like us.