It was election day, I walked up to the Wells Fargo teller, and attempted to make a withdrawal to pay monthly probation fees.
After asking me how my day was, one teller inquired whether I had voted.
“Hell no,” I replied. “I’m a convicted felon and I can’t ever vote again… thankfully.”
The look of disbelief, consternation, and confusion was amusing, but it helped bring home a pattern of thought I’ve grown all too familiar with these past few weeks.
The biggest problem I see with this election is peoples’ willingness to outsource their problems and unhappiness to others.
First there was outrage about what Donald Trump said. Then there was outrage about what Donald Trump supporters said. Now there is outrage that Donald Trump was elected.
Some man 99.99% of the people complaining have never met, will never meet, and has only a fraction of influence on your daily life is creating anxiety.
If people spent a fraction of the time focused on improving their own skills and building the type of life that they desire and less time worrying about a far off election they cannot control, it would help them be 10 times more fulfilled and successful. A quote from Epictetus comes to mind…
“Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can’t control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible.” – Epictetus
Anyone reading this blog post can do little to change the outcome of this event except exercise your right to vote (and now even less given the election is over). Assuming you spent the 10 – 30 minutes it took to achieve this, there is no other reason for it to take up your minds pace. Let it go.
It’s All a Matter of Perspective
Perhaps I would think differently if I were allowed to vote.
I don’t even know who Trump’s running mate is and I don’t care. I insulate myself on Facebook, don’t read news, and don’t really talk to anyone who cares much about politics.
Fear showing a parallel between rhetoric of Hitler and Trump and the consequence of turning the other cheek are all warranted. I’m acutely aware of what transpires when populist leaders elected through hate come into power unchecked.
But even then, the only thing that matters are the actions I can take in this moment. Same for you.
So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go work on Nootropedia now…