A wave of craziness consumes our nation every four years as we collectively go to the polls to select a leader. The 2020 presidential election is not an exception.
For Haywood, the national issues as defined by those striving to sway public opinion have minimal effect on day-to-day life here, yet they divide this community as completely as they do the rest of the nation for a period of time.
Yes, all care about the fate of our nation, but our sphere of influence as individuals seldom surpasses the community in which we live. It’s unfortunate that two and a half times each decade we begin looking at others through a different lens based on which campaign signs are on their vehicles or in their yards.
Our ability to make meaningful changes in our everyday lives harkens back to those who volunteer with us on a church committee or the school carnival effort or a nonprofit organization.
It involves how we communicate with local elected officials, whether it is about how our school system operates or how our town leaders can provide basic services such as water, sewer and police protection or how county leaders set tax rates and use available resources in a way that best enriches our lives.
Malcolm Gladwell, a journalist, author, and public speaker who Time magazine identified as one of the world’s most influential thinkers, suggests changing our minds can be a good thing, not a sign of weakness that should be criticized.
“That’s your responsibility as a person, as a human being — to constantly be updating your positions on as many things as possible,” he stated. He later commented that his ability to be convinced to think differently is one of his best qualities.
Perhaps once the 2020 election becomes history, we can crawl out of our narrow trenches, update our positions, try to understand how others could hold a different point of view and strive to look at the positives, not the negatives.
This is even more necessary in light of fears stoked by campaign rhetoric, social media and propaganda machines.
When it comes to where you get your news, make an effort to locate unbiased news organizations, or at least know how far they swing to one side or another by referencing the mediabiaschart.com.
Now that the election is over, let’s all consider setting aside the intense emotions that caused such divisiveness and go back to being neighbors who all want the very best for our community.
Haywood is a small area of our country with unique qualities and issues, along with a vast number of people who care enough to give their time, their resources and their knowledge. It is hard — no, downright discouraging — to think of all that’s wrong in the world and all that needs to be done.
Let’s honestly assess the situation in our small corner of the world, think how we each can contribute to the type of society we all wish for and then work together to bring change where it is needed.