As I am writing this, there are 25 days left before the 2020 presidential election, and there is something I want to impart to you. No matter the results, we have to do some very important things. This article is not contingent on either candidate winning but rather what happens after the winner is announced.
First things first, we need to release politics from our minds for a little while. Being a — if not the only — country to have an election process that spans basically two years and costs billions of dollars is both excessive and exhausting. With the pandemic also still in full swing, I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that the mental state of this nation has been anything but great. We need to take a collective breath and step back for at least a moment as this whole political affair comes to a brief conclusion.
I say brief, because it is bound to continue to capture the attention of the nation, even after all the ballots have been cast and counted. This limited pause makes it that much more imperative to catch our breaths.
So, as a whole, we need to ensure that we take at least an amount of time, no matter the length, to not hold any political emotions — or at least none that are negative. Yes, I have my own opinion as to whom I would like to win this election; but even if they lose, I still see the benefit of not delving too much into it. If we become too entrenched in the mood swings that come with politics, it will be hard to differentiate those political emotions from ones that are because of something entirely different.
In short, by remaining emotionally attached to the political news of the election, those political feelings will seep into other aspects of our lives. This might be good if your candidate won, bringing an overall positive light to how you view other things, but the artificial boost will distort your true feelings on any given subject.
An example is when you have a rather unpleasant day. It just seems to continue and never ends until you close your eyes and wake up the next day. That unpleasant day occurs because one bad thing happens to you and you then subconsciously carry that with you, framing any remotely annoying thing as bad. This cycle continues, turning a possible good day that had a couple bad moments into an overall terrible day that had little to no good moments.
We choose how we see the world, meaning we need to take mental breaks and not turn one bad experience into a day full of issues. This is going to be especially true after the election results: it is our duty to ourselves to not allow the outcome to impact our mental state.
If your candidate wins, great, but don’t rub it into other people’s faces. If your candidate loses, oh well, maybe next time, and don’t allow the loss to bring you down. Our ability to choose what we react to is one of our greatest powers and can serve to make us immensely happy or terribly morose.
On a personal note, this election has been long but above all dividing beyond measure, with mudslinging coming from both sides. We need to heal through coming together after this election, setting aside political ideology. No matter your party, no matter your ideology, we are all a part of this great nation, and we can make it even better through our positive actions.
We can also choose to make it worse through our negative words or messaging, but again, that is our choice. No one else holds the power to make you say or do anything you do not wish to do. So, no matter the results, take a break for a while and relax, and when the time comes to be active again, spread a message you would be happy to receive from another.
Evan Brooks is a third-year Business Management major with minors in Economics and Civic and Professional Leadership. EB0916132@wcupa.edu