SEE YOU AT THE POLLS

See You at the Polls

I read
The Wall Street Journal
And
The New York Times;
I watch CNN
And FOX.
I listened to
Romney and Obama
At both Conventions.

I have some
Work to do
Inside
As I listen and learn
What is mine to do.

The more I listen
To both sides of
Our most divided
Congress in my lifetime,
The more I commit
To
Discern and
Seek
An Inner Stance
That
Provides Attitudes
And Perspectives
That enhance
Our highest good.

I have heard the voices
Of every Presidential candidate
And elected President
Since FDR.

I once thought
That issues were
Black or white
With no gray
Sandwiched
In between.

Time and Life
And my hard won
Experience
Have released me
From the
Inviting illusions
Of absolute
Political clarity
Or
The naïve expectations
That
One Person
alone
Or One Party
alone
Has the power
To transform
Our country
And heal
Our woes.

I am now
More comfortable
With
Necessary ambiguity,
Because
Life is not,
And never has been,
Black or white.

However,
That does not
Render
Me
Powerless,
Passive or
Less passionate
When I vote.

Indeed,
I go to the polls
Grateful and
Filled with a
Depth of inner peace
As I cast my
Single little vote
Towards national and
Global
Sanity.

I continually weigh
My options and my
Commitment to the
Higher good,
Knowing we are all
In this
Together.

Swaying back and forth
In a wonderfully
And frightfully
Fragile
Vessel,
Tossing and turning
Right and left
On dangerous seas;
The waves soar high about us—
We do owe one another
A phenomenal loyalty.

I therefore
Refuse to vote
For any candidate
In either party
Who supports
A platform and
Perspective motivated
By fear or greed—
Two demonic
And destructive tools
So rampart in our
Political arsenals.

Whatever candidate
You and I support,
Let us choose
To transcend the
Hideous and poisonous
Attitudes and projections
That make the other
Out to be the enemy.

Years ago
While working with
The chaplains
At Fort Bragg, N.C.,
I asked the head chaplain,
“What is the theology of
the U. S. Army?”
and he quickly responded,
“That’s easy.
We are on God’s side
fighting the enemy,
who is the devil.”

Well,
We all know better.
It’s not that way.

Granted,
There would be
Fewer wars
And more realistic
Ways to negotiate
Between parties
And nations
If we did not
Demonize
The other side.

I have a choice;
You have a choice.
One person at a time,
You and I
Can choose to
Cast our vote
With respect,
Dignity, clarity
And purpose.

A wise man once said,
“When we disagree,
let us agree to disagree
with love and
genuine respect.”

That’s going to take
Some doing,
Especially
If we cannot
Acknowledge and do
The hard inner work
Of
Embracing
And healing
our own
Inner idiots.

I recall visiting
My deep southern roots
A few summers ago.
My little town,
Totally segregated
and clearly
black or white
when I was a child,
now integrated
and relatively different,
I met a
Beautiful black brother
With striking white hair.
We sat and talked
Soul to soul
For awhile.

One brief sentence
Remains riveted
Within my soul
From his great soul.
I shall never forget
Him or the words
He spoke:
“My grandfather
always said to me,
‘Boy, remember
that what’s on the
inside
is more important
than
what’s on the
outside.’”

I hope to
See you
At the polls.

-Hal Edwards
Wauconda, IL
September 24, 2012

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