Moving Forward When Things Seem Pointless
It’s Federal Election time here in Canada. In the current political climate there are a myriad of different opinions about how to vote. Our electoral system is such that the governing party has historically been either Liberal or Conservative, with the very occasional exception. Indeed, to someone from the outside looking in, it would be easy to understand if they thought that there were, in fact, only two parties from which to choose. This isn’t the case, however. In actual fact there are 6 federal parties at play, each with their own vision of how to govern.
The beauty of this is that as Canadians we have actual choice in the election. After all, in the words of a mentor of mine, “two is not a choice; it’s a dilemma.” We are not in a dilemma; we are at choice.
The challenge is that, because it FEELS like there are only two viable options, it can be tempting to
ignore how we feel called to vote in our heart of hearts. If we lean towards any of the other four parties, the general rule of thumb is to vote “strategically” rather than “throwing your vote away.”
It doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t have to let a feeling of futility govern our choices, whether in an election or in any other quandary we may face. Instead, we actually have a responsibility to make choices that align with what we truly believe, ignoring the voice of caution to a certain degree, and heeding instead the voice of our conscience.
Because when we make conscience-based decisions in any context, we are in alignment with our values. We are being truthful. We are showing the world what really matters to us. And when we stand behind what we say matters, no matter how difficult a task that might be, we are better able to move towards the vision we hold, individually and as a collective.
While I have framed this idea within the context of an election, it doesn’t just apply there. This strategy is applicable whenever things feel really tough. It can be tempting to give in to popular opinion, rather than push for what we believe in, when it feels like an uphill climb. The thing is: our commitment can’t just be to the outcome. Our commitment needs to be to the climb, in order to reach the outcome. There is no other way to get there. And so, if a climb is involved, then climb we must.
In other words, we cannot let the idea that we might fail, or that the idea is too “out there”, or that a task might be hard, stop us from pursuing what we believe to be necessary.
Bottom-line: in any time of decision-making, you’ve got to stand firmly and solidly in what matters. Decision-making is not about choosing the lesser of however many evils seem to be at play. Decision-making is about honouring what matters. Determine what matters, and make the decisions that align. This is how we move our world -- whether it’s the small world around you or the larger global community -- forward to a better space.