Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams…Pope John XXIII
The weeks before this historic election, the one thing that supporters of John McCain and Barack Obama had in common was passion. Listening to talk radio or TV commentators, I observed these feelings and their resulting rhetoric intensify. On the daytime TV show, the View, the hosts’ passion often resulted in intense arguing. Passions were so strong that the panel seemed unable to appreciate each others’ viewpoint.
It seems that there were two very distinct emotions driving the passion seen in this election season—one was fear the other was hope. Fear is an emotional response to an external threat. What were these threats? Potential loss of jobs, money, and homes fueled the fear. Anxiety over terrorism, the war in Iraq and loss of our freedoms stoked the flame of fear.
The flip side of the fear was hope. Hope is a belief in the potential for a positive outcome. What fueled hope? The same issues that triggered fear also sparked hope. Hope was ignited by the belief that jobs and the economy could improve or the war could end.
As we go forward in our life we have a choice to choose fear and anxiety or hope. If we choose hope, we also need to choose action. Just as President-elect Obama must act to implement change to realize the dreams and hopes of the American people; we need to act in our own life. What are the things we desire, what are the positive outcomes we’re hoping for? It’s time to take action, embrace our passion and move forward…for change…for hope…for our future.
This week: If you’re anxious or fearful, speak it out loud and breathe. Then flip the emotional coin, grab on to hope and take the next best step.