Lifestyle, OYou BootCamp 2011

Struggling with Hot-Headed Politics

As I reached the half-way mark of my OWN OYou Boot Camp, everything changed. In a previous entry, my sister mentioned a friend of ours had a heart attack at the end of last week’s Dr. Oz Boot Camp Challenge. In an instance a shift was felt in our lives and this OYou boot camp suddenly became more important. However, it shouldn’t take a heart attack or a September 11th moment for me to be reminded of what is important.

Now in general I am pretty good about this. I go to bed every night knowing that every person I care about knows how much I love them. I don’t go to bed angry and I try hard to be my best in each and every moment. Some days I am better than others, but I am content in knowing that each day I try.

It was strange at first that week 7 turned out to be Donna Brazile week.  As a respected political consultant,  I have been looking forward to delving deeper into her lessons, yet also hesitant. I am one of those people who has a “hot-headed” political family member. The general rule has been to NOT discuss politics or even watch politics when the person is around. Although it has curbed the tirades, it also silenced the sensible discussions. What I have come to realize is that there are MANY families who have stopped talking.

Some pundits who give their personal political commentary on TV seem to enjoy lighting fires with every breath regardless of facts. There is an entire population of frustrated people ready to grab onto anything negative. Total mob mentality and it can be just as scary. In the meantime, the sensible people try to stand at a safe distance hoping to avoid a heated, over-the-top conversation.

These fire starters have at times even given people a script prompting them with comebacks and responses to logical questions, literally telling them how to think and what to say. AND for some crazy reason people listen to the words as gospel and preach. There is so much hate, anger and negative energy flying around that many people are afraid to stand up and encounter it. I am ashamed to say that at times I one of those people.

I know that change can’t happen if people don’t talk. However, people have gotten so busy that many have begun to look for cliff notes from pundits who spin their stories for ratings. We all know that information can be spun in SO many ways. It is our job to take it all in and do our best to find the truth…which typically lies somewhere in the middle.

Each and every one of us has a responsibility to discuss issues and pull our resources to make the best (although it may not be perfect) decisions we can. Just as I wouldn’t want an insurance company deciding if I needed an operation, I don’t want political pundits who make money off ratings to set political agendas.

So for Week 7 of OYou Boot Camp with Donna Brazile, I have been working on:

  • Setting aside 30 minutes a day to read online about world politics, NOT just US politics.
  • Finding contact information for my local political party to see how I can get involved.
  • Try to set some new respectful rules for family discussions so that we can ALL start talking again.

If you are looking for a mini-challenge of your OWN:

  • Speak your mind! When a topic comes up that you typically avoid, try to respectfully engage with an open mind.
  • Pick a show about another country to watch on a channel like the History Channel or National Geographic. By knowing more about others’ history and culture, it is easier to understand their perspective.

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