Archive for the ‘ Politics ’ Category

How not to get my vote.

Election time is in full effect right now. While they may just be mid-term elections, there are some pretty important people and items to vote on next month.

I was visited by two local candidates running for office this past weekend. Both made impressions on me, and I was able to decide exactly who I would be voting for in this particular race.

Here’s how not to get my vote:

  • Tell me you didn’t respond to my email because you were getting ready for an outdoor fair and did nothing about my concern (he actually said this).
  • Make sure you swear at least once while talking about your opposition.
  • Minimize a domestic assault that occurred in my neighborhood.
  • Don’t over any solutions. And if you do, immediately dispute them.

That was the second person that came to my house.

The first person knocked on my door right as I was ushering my older son, G, out the door to go to soccer and my husband was taking our screaming 22 month old, Biz, upstairs for an overdue nap. The candidate smiled, handed me a flyer and gave me a quick introduction. She asked for my vote, noted the email on the flyer and told me to contact her with any questions I might have.

Short, sweet and to the point. She knew it was a bad time and moved on.

I take voting seriously. I don’t miss elections. As a citizen, I believe that it is my right to have my voice heard, whether it’s by attending a local town council meeting, contacting my legislators or casting a ballot. When I don’t have all the information about a candidate or issue, I seek it out.

I actually didn’t think I’d end up voting for the first candidate. Until I met the second one.

If you’re running for office, don’t think that you’ll get a vote just because you show up to someone’s house. And be careful about what you say. Someone might start complaining on Facebook or blogging about your ill chosen words.

Update (10/16/10): A couple days ago, another person came to my door. The person was representing another local candidate and left a flyer with my husband. Later that evening, I noticed a sign for the candidate displayed in front of my house. I immediately took it down.

If you want my endorsement, you need to ask for it.

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The New Normal

I went to a Leadership Series discussion the other day with about 70 other women. It was hosted by a local nonprofit women’s organization, and the topic was “The New Normal.” Since I also work for a nonprofit organization that specializes in services for women, I thought it would be a good event to go to.

The subject of the discussion seemed a bit odd to me, mainly because of the word “normal.” It’s one of those words that makes me uncomfortable.

I mean, who determines what normal is anyway? And if there’s a new one, what happened to the old one?

Dictionary.com defines the word normal as “conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.” However, if you go by this definition, it’s completely subjective. In my world, for example, being gay is normal, though there are many (too many) people out there who would disagree.

The discussion was interesting. There was talk about the state of the economy, the influence that technology has had on our lives, even terrorism.

In a world where we broadcast our lives on blogs and Facebook, people are struggling to keep or find jobs, and we can’t travel without worrying about bed bugs or terrorist attacks, here’s what I think the “new normal” is:

  • Being true to yourself, no matter what
  • Being self-aware (and aware, in general)
  • Saying no (or yes), even if it feels scary or others look at you differently
  • Figuring out what is important in your life and going with it
  • Simplifying
  • Looking at the glass as being full, even if others tell you it’s running on empty
  • Leading by example
  • Giving back
  • Teaching our kids tolerance and empowering them to make a positive social impact in the future

What’s your normal?