It’s that time of year, the election year. I don’t plan to address politics, actually I plan to do the opposite. Because, growing up in Chicago taught me one thing about politics… you have to shake your head and keep smiling (after you’ve voted early and often, of course).
With so much access to all the accounts around the nation and world, it’s easy to get bogged down with the biggness of what’s at stake. We want a president, governor, judge, etc. whom we can trust with our best interests or the interests of those we care about most. Even the thought of not having that security can send us into a panic – yes, the world might end.
But this post isn’t about politics. As we get caught up in the natural disasters, political issues, and social injustices around the world (and there is much to grieve), it’s easy to lose the moment. Perhaps this is why I love working with middle school students. The world is still a big, scary place, but they’re invincible, ready to take on anything and everything. Creativity is unbounded, even while they’re asking the big questions. Most of all, they live in the moment. Yes, that means that when Susie and Jill fight, the world might have just experienced a cosmic shudder, but it also means that when that moment has past, they are on to the next thing. Little things are big, but big things aren’t often quite on their radar yet, like shadows on the horizon.
Living in the moment lets us take joy in a sunrise, marvel at a star-studded sky, or appreciate a good chat with a friend. The world around us may be caving, but, you know what, it’ll all be okay. Not because of who becomes president or whether the right person gets elected, but because we have each other. The moments we share together make a difference. The wave to a nieghbor, letting a harried mom with a few cranky kids cut in the grocery line… simple kindnesses can change a moment.
So, step back with me to simpler times when sharing gossip at the general store was the big news of the day. Take a moment to appreciate the wonder of nature, the love of those around you, and the good things in your life. Political schemas will change, but caring for one another will change the world.