What's after November 3rd? A START. for American Possibility
Have you ever just held your breath, dug in and white-knuckled it until a work project is complete? You know you're not sleeping, eating or exercising like you should, you have lots of emails about other things to respond to, but you just need to focus on this ONE THING for a specific amount of time until it's out the door.
Those times happen sometimes, but it ain't a great way to live long-term.
For most of us, the upcoming election day (TUESDAY, 11/3!!!) is that for us. It feels weird to be talking or thinking about anything after that. Have you noticed that no one's mentioned Thanksgiving and Christmas? They're not that far away. It's like everything after NOV 3RD (!!!) is a gray blob, undefined, hard to visualize. How can we even talk about it?
I've had small moments of clarity about what the upcoming months could be like. Gentle nudges that feel like a friend whispering in your ear to guide you along and prepare you for what you may not be quite ready to focus on quite yet.
Let's look ahead – just a little.
When I sit with these thoughts, it helps me feel a little more prepared for what life could really be like, even if we get the BEST possible outcome. Spoiler alert: Not Everything is Perfect Immediately. No, we're not going back to brunch (at least not in the way that we sailed along mindlessly in our lives before).
It goes something like this.
If the best possible outcome is:
Biden wins. Landslide victory. Blue wave – no, Blue TSUNAMI. The election results aren't seriously challenged, the country has given its mandate, and we have the all-clear to Build Back Better. (Hopefully you know, but: that's Biden's campaign slogan, which I love, and loved when it was Cuomo's daily mantra to us New Yorkers earlier this year during the height of the outbreak here.)
The reality check is:
All of the loud voices aren't going to go away. Oh, you thought just getting TO the election was a monumental challenge for Team Biden and for us as a country? That's just the START. Imagine an administration that's flanked by Republicans on the right, as it is now, but also Progressive Democrats on the left, who have been (it seems to me?) on their best behavior so far (thankfully).
The question is:
As a centrist administration, how will Team Biden choose to be a bridge between the (very loud) opposing sides, rather than getting constantly squeezed by them, each and every day, on every single media outlet and troll-filled Twitter feed that's out there jockeying for attention?
After all of this craziness... is it possible that it could get even more crazy? Not if we choose to think, do and be otherwise, while we have this tiny window of time to get our minds right and start to get our s*** together.
I'm choosing to believe that a big part of Building Back Better involves what WE bring to the table. With (probably) the Serenity Prayer in mind, I want us to consistently hold the new administration accountable while also owning and re-envisioning our role in all of this drama.
If we really wanna Build Back Better, we need to realize:
One person didn't get us into the situation we're in now, and one person isn't going to get us out of it.
We have to own the individual roles we play and have played in our collective drama.
Building Back Better is going to require a new level of transparency from the administration in power, and it will be exciting.
We can choose to no longer ignore the marginalized attitudes and groups that have come to light in the past four years – we have to bring them in and heal them.
All of this can be super transformational, if we want it to be and work for it to be. We all have a role to play and a way to contribute.
Just like each of us would have to do in our own lives, with our own projects, and with our own personal dramas, each of us has to do, think and be better in order for things to really change, long term. We can't have – not even one more year! – of white-knuckling it and hoping for everything to be perfect after the next milestone is reached.
If we want a future that's not like the past, we have to use our best ways of thinking, organizing and communicating in a way that supports that. All hands on deck. We oh-so-totally can do this.
I'd love to hear your thoughts! Email me or sign up for the weekly thoughtstarter to continue the conversation. Y'all be good.