Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Change is the only Constant

I must have started running again because the urge to blog has returned. . .

I spent the summer in the water and on the bike trying to ignore the instinct to get up and run every morning. I told myself not to run for a whole marathon training cycle and then reevaluate the foot situation. It has been 16+ weeks and the foot hasn’t changed but the weather has and there was no way I was going to stay inside and watch the leaves fall off the trees. Though the miles are few and slow and my foot is still sore, this fall has been one for the books in regards to foliage, wonderful weather and beautiful days. I don’t think anyone can be in New England in the fall and not fall in love with it.

Since I don’t have my own race to report on I have a few thoughts on the other race that is hogging all of the tv news time.  NYC Marathon you say? I love you for watching it, but no, I mean the election of our next president, senate and representatives.
One of my best friends had a baby boy a couple of years ago and when they moved back to Newport this summer she took a job that required her to find daytime care for her son. No parent likes letting go and she and her husband agonized over the decision for live-in care vs a daycare situation. How would interacting with other children affect their son? What if he was bullied? Would his character change? For the good and the bad the people that we meet change us starting as a child and continuing for the rest of our lives. Traveling and having friends all over the world throughout the past three presidential elections has allowed me to see what some of the rest of the world sees when we go through this process. The people we interact with, the choices we make and the life we choose to live all add up to form the person we become. It is an algorithm that is ever changing and adding variables. The things we do and the choices we make, make us who we are as a person. In that respect the things we do, choose and vote on, make us who we are as a country.

A while ago I asked my Dad why he and mom Mom had decided to have kids. He expressed his belief that if they could raise, in their case, four people with good morals and values that it would do some good in the world. When my sisters started to have their children I was scared for them because of all of the bad things that fill the news everyday.  What kind of world would my nieces and nephews grow up in? Today, however,  when my sister posted a photo of my niece voting with her, it brought tears to my eyes. (On a bus to the airport surrounded by people, of course!). And not because I'm scared for her future but because I'm so excited about it. Not because "I'm with Her" or not, but because there is change happening. There are people who face the big, bad, scary world and say, "We can do better. I'm willing to try, it starts with me." My sisters and friends with children are passing on ideals and values to their children. Ideals that include; all people count and are equal, that doing a little good can go a long way, that we can be the change we wish to see in the world. Change doesn't happen on one day every four years. We can't blame everyone else for the state of the country and world.  Yes, you should go vote today, but it's not just for the President. It's for local leaders and for the people who represent you on a federal stage. All change is made in increments. In running, learning, and most of all thinking, nothing happens all at once. The choices we have on a ballot today are from many, many choices we made or let happen along the way. The political situation right now is intense, confusing, and ridiculous. It might seem like democracy is broken but the thing this country is based on is that the people have a say. These are our candidates because the people that we chose to represent us chose them to represent them. It may be an outcome you didn’t envision or agree with but it is the situation we have created. And that’s ok. This is a process. Our country is young. Learning takes time. This country is an experiment.  Change is a constant. Do try to remember that everything we do has a consequence as per Newton’s 3rd law. The love, hate, judgment, kindness and/or patience you express is equally expressed by someone else. Your child, the person on whom you inflicted it or a passer by. Your vote counts and not just as a hanging chad or an ink filled bubble that tests your dexterity, but in the way you live your life. We “vote” everyday. And when you really can't make up your mind, go for a run. 

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to change, it's not." Maybe Dr. Seuss wrote children's books because he knew they are the only ones who would listen.

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