Well folks, we’re getting closer to the finish line — at the time of this writing, Election Day is only 18 days, 13 hours and 22 minutes away.
We all know the outcome — one of the candidates will be elected, and with that said, we’ll only have to put up with a couple more weeks of watching political ads, looking at signage all over town, and enjoying the spirited posts that our dear friends post on Facebook who are routing for the other party.
You know the friends I’m referring to, right? We all know someone who can’t help themselves but to rant and rave about their political stance and then throw the rest of us who don’t agree under a fast-moving bus.
I love politics as much as the next guy, but somehow I’ve managed to stay on speaking terms with some of my closest friends and family members despite our opposite views. I keep this in mind when I’m at religious events as well, because there’s no way I am going to start preaching Catholicism with my Pagan and other such friends. Not going to happen!
What I do enjoy, however, is observing the frantic stance that these individuals take ever so quietly from the background. I guess in these circumstances I’d compare myself to that gaggle of Facebook friends that like to sneak around on everyone else’s pages to see what’s going on, but they wouldn’t dare post a single status of their own, other than their winning scores on Bejeweled or Doubledown Casino.
My favorite part of the election, other than watching the pained expressions on MSNBC Hardball’s Chris Matthews’ face when he’s puzzled about something the right side has done, is watching the paid TV commercials that the politicians are running 24/7 at the moment.
Sure, I’m interested in what my candidate has to say, but what I really love is when they close with “My name is _____________ and I approve this message.”
Politicians add this statement to verify that the thoughts, ideas and positions expressed by the individuals in the political advertisement represent their own views. I find this a brilliant way to close, and I definitely think this should be how parents start communicating with their kids, after all, if they hear the words “approve” they might actually listen.
So what would my message be? Well, I know what it wouldn’t be. There would be no focus on “don’t do this and don’t do that” – in my opinion that only invites them to try.
If there’s one thing that turns me off on any of these political ads, it’s when the candidate turns his or her moment to share their message into a bashing against their opponent. I tune right out.
In my experience with kids (or spouses!) the minute you start telling them everything they didn’t do correctly, you might as well stick a blender on your tongue — because all they are going to hear is the whirring noise of negative ingredients being mixed together at high speed.
That said, I think I’d go for something more like this:
“Get up every day with a purpose. Whether that’s going to school and trying to pass a Chemistry exam, or hoping the girl you want to ask to the junior prom will say yes, spend your days working towards something that feels good. And while you’re at it, take time to get to know someone you might not ordinarily hang out with — you might end up with a new best friend. Smile! We need more smiles in this world. It’s ok to want the finer things in life, but remember to be appreciative for all that you have at this moment while you’re waiting for the rest of your desires to come into fruition. Above all else, treat others as you would want to be treated because it really does make a difference, even if you don’t realize it at the time. Last but not least, when you leave home for college or to venture out into the world on your own, whatever you do, don’t forget to call your mother!”
This is your mother talking, and I approve this message.
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