This is the 10th Presidential Election I’ve voted in during my life. To say it’s unique would be an understatement.

What’s evident is that this won’t be a one-day, Super Bowl style event where victory for one candidate will be clear, and where activities and rhetoric around the results will end. This will be a marathon.

I’ve thought much about this day after comparing it to Election Days of the past, and I’d like to share a few thoughts with all of you…

I doubt any of us are in a situation where all our family and friends are in full agreement with whom we are voting for. Sadly, that difference can – and often does – cause great stress to relationships and anxiety about the future of those relationships regardless of the results.

We all have a right to have our own opinion. We all have the right to take a stand on candidates, issues, and beliefs. And we should never feel bullied or badgered by others to stand down or change those views. We have the unique position to express our views respectfully and with vigor, if we choose.

As we deal with family and friends, I encourage you to consider these words in all you think, say, and do (including what you write and say)…

Empathy

Respect

Patience

Trust

Composure

Humility

Tolerance

Equanimity

Deep Breaths

Self Care

This will be a time where we will all tested to balance our ideals and principles with how we interact with those for whom we care about and desire a long-term relationship.

This year we’ve seen well over 200,000 people die from a global pandemic. Our most cherished relationships – especially among family members – should take priority when it comes to how we interact and care about each other.

We are fortunate as a country to be able to vote for our leaders. I’m pleased to see that more Americans will vote this year than ever before. And I hope that we as humans – not just Americans – will rise above the heated discussions that will eventually trickle away and seek understanding and compassion for those people who are important in our lives.

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