Election 2012

Lebanon Valley College

PREPARING FOR THE ELECTION: Three Spiritual Practices Toward a Meaningful Election Season

Written by Rev. Paul M. Fullmer, Chaplain and Director of Service and Volunteerism

The election season can be meaningful… or maddening.  News reports and advertising can be inspirational… or irritating.  Here are three spiritual practices which can contribute to a meaningful election season.

1) Listen carefully to people or groups with whom you disagree. Rather than becoming entrenched in a polarized position, stand for principles while seeking out the positive intent in a position which differs from your own. Recognize that a multiplicity of factors interact in any national debate. Given this multiplicity, perhaps there exists a common higher ground on which differing opinions might collaborate? Seek it out. Acknowledge that decent people frequently disagree; no two people agree 100% of the time, and any two individuals can find something to agree upon.

2) Watch or read election news with a focus on the positive, noting innovative solutions that promote greater harmony, compassion and justice in the world. Reject opinions or statements that emphasize the negative. Inherently negative events may ultimately produce some good if we seek to develop compassion by (a) identifying with those most affected and (b) reflecting on how the event may serve a larger purpose.

3) Do something representative of your commitment to improving our nation and our world. If personal funds are tight, donating time to an organization that is advancing solutions to social problems will provide a sense of meaningfulness and satisfaction. When both funds and time are tight, joining an organization’s membership or Facebook page can make a positive difference.

Then, come November, be sure to exercise your privilege to vote.

What spiritual practices might you suggest as we approach elections this fall?  Blessings to the LVC Community as we enter into another meaningful election season!

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