The winter solstice is a time of reflection
Today (December 21) is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. It’s dark out there! It’s a time when we celebrate holidays and, especially, to reflect on the past year and look ahead to the next. It’s a time of reflection and resolutions.
This winter solstice is a special wonder
This year brings a special event beyond the shortened day. This year we are treated to a special alignment of two planets in our solar system. William Teets explains this year’s winter solstice in his article, What You Need to Know About This Year’s Winter Solstice and the Great Conjunction, in EcoWatch. He explains:
Saturn and Jupiter have appeared fairly close together in our sky throughout the year. But on Dec. 21, Saturn and Jupiter will appear so close together that some folks may have a difficult time seeing them as two objects. … The next time they will get this close together in our sky won’t be for another 60 years, so this is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime event for many people.
Today (tonight) is an opportunity to embrace the dark, cast our eyes overhead, and take in the awesome gift that distant lights have for us. It’s a heavenly reminder that we have much to be thankful for in spite of the oppressive elements of 2020: COVID-19, fires, economic stress, contentious elections, and more.
It’s a time for resolutions
It’s also a time to consider resolutions for the coming year. Resolutions beg for a certain mind-set that will make things happen. Yes, they do! Resolutions invite a can-do attitude to make wishes come true, for living to improve, and for good and beauty and love to come our way.
Dean Bokhari posted an article, How to Develop a Can Do Attitude and Succeed in Life, on lifehack.org. He gives us three keys to consider:
- Start with your mindset – He holds up the success of Mohammed Ali as an example.
Our mindset determines the way we deal with tough situations and setbacks, as well as our willingness to deal with and improve ourselves.
- Focus on being congruent – He tells us that our thoughts and actions and feelings are like a three-legged stool. He advises:
- Align the way you think with the way you act.
- How you act is going to impact how you feel.
- Use how you feel to reinforce the way you think.
- Be mindful of your self-talk – He advises:
The way we speak with ourselves plays a massive role in the way we perceive ourselves.
Jack Healy, Lucy Tompkins, and Audra D.S. Burch published their article in the New York Times, ‘A Shot of Hope’: What the Vaccine Is Like for Frontline Doctors and Nurses, tells of the emotions such news can deliver. They tell of a response by Dr. Rishi Seth, an internal-medicine physician with Sanford Health in Fargo, North Dakota, as he receives the vaccine shortly after attending to his dying patients.
That’s why today is so emotional. … You’re still fighting a battle, but you’re starting to see the horizon.
We are looking at horizons – future ones that are within our near future. Through the can-do attitudes of many scientists, front-line workers, and those essential to deliver the magic elixir to hospitals and clinics, hope is being delivered. Perhaps the dark night allows us to focus on a not-so-distant beacon of reprieve a little better, believing a little more that this darkness will indeed pass.
A can-do attitude can improve our voting democracy
OK – time to bring such thinking to bear on Equal Voice Voting (EVV). (You probably guessed I’d get here.) There is a parallel I hope you consider.
As we go forth into 2021 with the hope noted above and the can-do attitudes to make our resolutions come true, another horizon beckons. It’s a reality that our presidential elections can be more democratic. They can be more inclusive as we realize that All Votes Matter and we can make it so. Yes, we can!
The beauty of EVV is that it does not require a U.S. Constitution! Each state can adopt the election process approach individually. With passage of state legislation all of us, regardless of political perspectives, can cast our next presidential ballots and know they’ll make a difference.
There is a challenge, though. It means we have to recognize the possibilities. And, if we are so resolved, we can mimic the requirements Dean Bokhari outlined above:
- Start with our mindset – realize that such legislation can happen. Yes, it can!
- Focus on being congruent – align our thoughts, actions, and feelings to make it so.
- Be mindful of our self-talk – resolutions are made of such. We can do this!
Have a happy holiday season. There are many occasions to celebrate though we may not be gathered together as we wish. Relish the good, the beauty, and the love that surrounds us. May 2021 be all we resolve it to be.
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By Jerry Spriggs and the Equal Voice Voting Team