I don’t know about you, but I’m scared. And according to news reports, you probably are too. An article in the newspaper the other day said that the majority of Americans are anxious right now. And it ain’t because of Halloween.
Americans are generally anxious because we are living in a time of turmoil – two wars and a tanking economy will do that to people. But some of them are actually terrified because of the upcoming election. I totally understand this. I am scared to death of what would happen if MY candidate doesn’t win the election. I’ve got all kinds of nightmare scenarios in my head. And I’m absolutely sure that I’m right. But here’s the thing, there are other people who are equally scared to death and no doubt have nightmare scenarios of comparable horror in their heads if THEIR candidate doesn’t win the election. I swear, I did not know this until I read a quote from a woman in Florida saying she would be “devastated … scared to death … in a near panic” if MY candidate wins.
Huh? THEY are as frightened of MY candidate as I am of THEIRS. I had never thought about that before. This really, really made me think. (You could see the smoke coming out of my ears, I was thinking so hard.) I wish I could talk to this woman. But it would not be the kind of conversation you might expect. I swear I don’t want to convince her to vote for my candidate or even assuage her fears about him. But wouldn’t it be great if we could all just tell each other what’s frightening us? Without rancor and anger or the need to persuade. Just an honest and open and perfectly safe discussion about what we are most afraid of. We could all tell our worst fears and nightmares – all the awful things that are not all that likely to happen (no matter who wins), but nevertheless, keep us awake at night. It would be like a giant, national group therapy of sorts. Maybe followed by a huge, non-partisan group hug. Hopefully, there’d be hot cocoa afterward, we’d all join hands and sing a rousing chorus of “This Little Light of Mine” and surely, we’d all feel a whole lot better.
Unfortunately, so much of this presidential campaign has been designed to make us all fearful. Mark Twain once wrote, “I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” The truth is, what we fear the most, doesn’t usually happen. So, really, why waste all that energy worrying about it? And why make such an important decision based on what you’re afraid of. Whoever you vote for in this Presidential election, make it a decision based on your hopes and not your fears.
Enjoy your Halloween everyone. But don’t let your fears get the best of you!