The election will be meaningless if we don’t change our ways.
As I write this, it’s the morning of Tuesday, November 3rd. Election day.
I typically write the GIRLetter editorial over the weekend; usually on Sunday. But I didn’t this week.
I struggled to even begin for two reasons.
First, I kept thinking about the fact that by the time this hits inboxes on Saturday, the election will be over… I thought maybe I should wait and write about it. But then, on Sunday evening I came across an article in the Detroit Free Press by Mitch Albom entitled Election will be meaningless if we don’t change our ways (linked in the newsletter) and it sparked something inside of me.
That spark fueled a fire that was already burning.
Let’s back up to last Saturday… Halloween felt surprisingly normal this year. (Is the word normal even still in the dictionary?)
We went over to a friend’s house to hang out on their driveway (outdoors and socially distanced, of course) while our kids trick-or-treated. It was so nice to see all of the kids wearing costumes and smiles and dashing from house to house. On the way home from our pleasantly “normal” evening, my phone rang. It was my mom calling with news I’d been dreading.
A family friend had lost her battle with cancer. She was only 31-years-old.
The news was heartbreaking. So young. So sad. So much life to live.
And then, on Sunday, I opened Facebook to the most beautiful account of her life, written by one of her sisters… “She dove into every day and was never afraid to sink her teeth into a new dream.”… “Her residency in the hearts of so many takes up too much space not to create an eternal ripple effect.”
This is precisely how I think of her, how she lived her life with purpose. I was never close with her as I was 14 when she was born; she was our next-door neighbor and the much younger sister of one of my BFFs. But over the years my mom would share updates with me when she’d catch up with her mom.
Vivacious! That’s the word that always resonated when I’d hear about her adventures.
If you caught the quote at the start of the newsletter, it was from her. Facing death at the age of thirty-one, she had no regrets. How many of us will be able to say that when our time comes?
I’d been stewing on that up until I read the Mitch Albom article on Sunday and that’s when I knew what I needed to write about this week…
We are born and we die and when it’s all said and done, our life is indicated by a dash between those two dates. In an inspiring talk referenced recently in The Quote of the Day Show podcast (linked in the newsletter), Steve Harvey says, “that dash will determine who you are.” The dash will determine whether you lived your life with purpose.
As a nation, we have to change our ways. United we stand and divided we are the collective source of our own demise. We must take action together!
Yet, as individuals, here and now, in the land of the free, the home of the brave, we have to change our ways because our dash depends on it.
I feel a desperate urge to lace up my shoes and start sprinting, but where? In which direction?
The answer is forward and the good news is that the race begins RIGHT NOW.
Whatever regrets plague your past, are to be left in the dust. Forward is the only direction.
GO! NOW! Live a life with purpose.
How we get there is by putting one foot in front of the other. We harness the vivacity and passion-for-life of those who’ve paved the way before us; those who’ve led by a long life of experience and those who were wise beyond their years and left us way too soon. We harness the ability to change our ways.
We pick up where they left off and navigate the rough terrain ahead. We live each day with purpose instead of letting life happen to us. We believe in our hopes and dreams and inspire those around us to do the same. We show up each day as the best version of ourselves (even when it’s not the version we’re most proud of). That’s when we give ourselves grace and then strive to do a little bit better tomorrow.
Every day is a new chance to contribute to a dash you’ll be proud of.
Come on! Hurry! Tie your shoes!
This self-awareness is how we affect change not only in ourselves but in our nation. Regardless of how you feel about the outcome of the election, it’s time to move forward with a purpose that yields no regrets!
Go forth with optimism, patience, kindness, and PURPOSE and be unabashedly and unapologetically YOU!
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