After the Election: No Path Without Guidance

by Bob Schwartz

Feelings are magnified about the election right now. They will remain strong for a while, and may get more pronounced as the actuality sets in.

These strong feelings can be a motivator in trying to move things in a direction you view as better. You will think about what that direction is, and you will think about what actions can contribute. This can be all good.

But strong feelings and well-meaning thought and action can be ineffective, counterproductive, and even harmful, if we don’t seek guidance. However bad you feel, however smart you are, you need to look outside yourself for that guidance.

The kind and source of guidance depends on which voices and principles have served you in the past. And if you haven’t spent much time with such voices and principles, you might take this opportunity to try it.

This doesn’t at all mean just religious, spiritual or philosophical voices to listen to. In a political situation, you will find plenty of great political thinkers, some ancient, some contemporary, who offer sound and principled advice.

The point is not to listen just to yourself, and not just to individuals in your circle of like-minded people, who may be just as passionately unsettled as you. You may have good ideas and approaches, they may have good ideas and approaches. But hard as it is to believe right now, there is nothing new under the sun, even in politics and governing, and people have been refining their thinking about this not just for decades or centuries, but for thousands of years.

When it seems dark, politically or personally, we may think we can find a path solely by our own lights. Almost always, we are wrong.

Advertisements