Politics are personal.

Everyone believes their ideas or ideology are correct. Politics are very personal to people and it does not take much to stir the fiery juices of anger, revenge and resentment against the other side.

During a heavy political season one of the sad recurrences is the proliferation of name-calling. Something we tell our children is wrong and yet hundreds of millions of dollars will be spent by all sides, to find new ways to call someone a name. New ways to label people and new ways put the other person down.

Political labels will be used as slurs (“Those Democrats” or “Those Republicans” and so on). And those labels are often preceded by colorful adjectives. As if one label could possibly define the millions of people under any banner. But the labels will fly and it seems the goal is to get each group angry enough at the others to not vote for them because one party is better at name-calling than the other.

I would like to challenge anyone running for office – and the rest of us who will decide the direction the nation will take – to use whatever means necessary to define your opponent and to explain your position without resorting to name-calling.

Two Ears… One mouth…

Listening is not common when discussing politics. Posturing is. But a wise man (Winston Churchill) once said, “Courage is what is takes to stand up and speak; Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” Listening is a Big Brain Tool.

I would like to challenge all of us to practice listening a little more as we engage in this year’s discourse…as much as possible.

Our children are watching us and learning from us. The way we respond and react to the situations in our life teaches them how to handle the conflicts in their own. Let’s keep in mind, the children are listening.

Live Big – Think Big – Give Big

© 2012 Kevin T. McCarney. All rights reserved.

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