Many things we have no control over and we just have to live with what comes. But there are other things that we do have control over and we need to be active doing them. How we act towards others and how we allow them to affect us is one big area of control. Especially in these days of elections and their consequences.

We have the freedom to vote and the responsibility of voting wisely. We need to examine our values to choose wisely. Are we voting for people who share our values? Are we voting for people who will consider everyone before they make decisions? Are we voting for people who will put the common good of all society before anyone’s personal gain. Have we examined the candidates record to know whether they are doing the right things, not just saying the right things? Plenty of people speak the truth and then live a lie. And then there are the ones spewing hatred who we should reject fiercely.

We are not ultimately in control over who wins and who loses. We cast our vote and multitudes of others case theirs. Our candidates may not win and we have to live with that. Please remember that we have survived bad candidates before and we will again. And remember that our tasks as citizens is not over when the vote is tallied. We must remain civically engaged to advocate for real change no matter who wins.

We must persevere whatever happens, in elections and otherwise. We may not have a choice of what drops into our lives but we do have a choice in responding to it. Good times will happen, bad times will happen, we must remain resolute. One way is to remember the good that we have. Another is to fight for better.

One key way to do that is to always make the space around you safe for others, As has been repeated often “in a world where you can be anything, be kind”. No act of kindness is ever wasted. Be a safe person for people who need a refuge, for people needing to be understood, for people who feel alone. As we promote in Toastmasters, club meetings are to be a safe place. We say “it is a safe place to fail, but a great place to learn and grow”. We promote safe places for people to be themselves, to be vulnerable, to share their failures and their triumphs. To share themselves when they don’t feel safe being themselves.

As someone put it – rather than seeking to be right, choose to do right. This world is highly competitive and that can be very rough. Seeking to always be right leads to debate and arguing and posturing. Seeking to do right leads to growth and everyone “winning”.

In the midst of protecting ourselves, which is valid, be sure to protect all, which is inclusive. In the storms of life seek to be a place of shelter for those who are tossed by the waves and end up shipwrecked. Be a hand to help, not a finger pointing out faults.