You know how I feel about politics. This year, especially, I have been very burned out from some rather unfriendly political debating.
I realize that we vote because it is our chance to use our voice to bring some positive change to the world. It is our chance to help create the world of our dreams. It is important—it’s really the backbone of what makes our country work.
But I also realize that it has limitations.
You can’t legislate goodness. You can’t legislate a new mindset. You can’t legislate a change in values.
Just think—has a law ever really, REALLY changed your mind, about anything? Has a politician, no matter how charismatic, ever changed what you valued?
What has changed your mind? Probably another person. Probably a person, or many people, who were living their lives in a different way. People who were doing what they knew to be right. People who questioned the status quo—who showed you that the impossible was possible.
I believe that is the only thing that can change another’s mind. It’s really the only thing that can change the world.
It’s very timely that we have reconnected with the minimalist couple, who were living in Florida at the time, who led us to begin our journey into voluntary simplicity. We had a 10 minute visit with them. 10 minutes. And minimalism wasn’t even a topic we discussed. We had been told, prior, about their lifestyle. And what sold us was seeing them living it.
Over the course of 10 minutes, they changed our priorities, focus, and direction. And they did it without saying a word to try to persuade us to do anything. They led by example.
It’s by living our lives that we really cast our “votes.”
So, I have never revealed by political leanings on this blog. I have not told you which party I vote for, because, in the grand scheme of things, it is not the most important thing. But, I would like to share with you our lifestyle-based “political leanings.”
Here is our ballot:
We vote for a cleaner Earth. We’ll cast our vote by bringing reusable containers with us to the store, by refraining from buying disposable products, and by otherwise trying to decrease our waste production.
We vote for stronger communities. We will do this by stepping our of our comfort zone. We’ll talk to strangers. We’ll use community resources, rather than hiding in our house, surrounded by possessions.
We vote for peace. We will do this by not seeking revenge and for being understanding of others, with differing viewpoints.
We vote for debt-free living. We will do this by living simply, so that we can focus our resources on things that matter, rather than owing money because we try to “have it all.”
We vote for better health. We will do this by walking and bike riding, rather than driving everywhere. We will eat whole foods and try to avoid poisons as much as possible.
We vote for a greater awareness. We will do this by spending most of our time not plugged in to electronic devices. We will avoid television and spend time experiencing nature and experiencing each other.
We vote for a more meaningful life. We will do this by taking measures not to be swindled by corporations and popular culture, who tell us that we need to live differently. We won’t be taken in by the myth of the “American dream,” which is all about accumulating possessions at the expense of time, relationships, and joy. We will decide what our dream looks like, and it will not be based on advertisements, “reality shows,” or fashion magazines.