Vote Before the Vote

Enough is enough!

I am outraged and saddened by what happened here in my hometown of Minneapolis.  I didn't know what to do.  As a white male, I don't know what it's like to be a person of color in America.  My first action was to talk to 5 friends of color and ask for their perspective.   There were no simple answers.  I was given an incredible list of references.  I was asked to participate in a solution.  Take one next best action of integrity … and trust the next best action will reveal itself. 

This declaration is my next best action of integrity.

Here in the United States, the Preamble for our Declaration of Independence reads

We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish the Constitution of the United States of America

Yes, compared to our ancestors, we are blessed.

And we have strayed.

Strayed from the beauty of this declaration of independence. 

It is time 'we the people' declare our independence and take back the political and social agendas that run our country. 

Personally, I have lived in apathy too long.  I worked hard through school and my 30 years of consulting.  Nothing came easy to me.  AND I count myself among the privileged in this country and recognize it has come easier to me than for others.

It is time for 'we the people' to take back our agenda, to live 100% empowered and OWN the social change that's unfolding before us, right here in the streets of Minneapolis and all over the world.  This is not someone else's fight!  This is not something for our politicians to figure out.

Change begins with me.

Wisdom is the Soundness of Action and Decision based on KNOWLEDGE, EXPERIENCE and GOOD JUDGMENT. 

We make too many decisions and take too many actions based on soundbites formulated by marketing companies, political machines and media-backed stories of 'breaking news.'  Wisdom is gained through KNOWLEDGE.  If you care about an issue, do the research.  Read 5 articles from BOTH sides of the argument. 

We make too many decisions and take too many actions based on our own limited experience.  As a white man in our society, I live in privilege that I cannot see, like a fish describing water in the bowl.  To develop wisdom about racial equality issues, I needed to talk to people of color.  Wisdom is gained through EXPERIENCE.  If I don't have it, find someone who does.

We make too many decisions and take too many actions based on too few options.  Webster provides the definition of judgment as the process of forming opinions or evaluation by discerning and comparing options.  When we limit options, we limit our ability to make informed judgments.  Wisdom is gained through GOOD JUDGMENT.   Let us sit at the table and actively listen to options that may grate us, make us angry and even push our moral fibers.  But sit and listen.  Really listen to truly understand.

This is my Action Plan:    

Step 1.  Since I live in the United States, I re-read the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution this morning.  I had not read them since I was a Boy Scout.  To my astonishment, I read and interpreted them DIFFERENTLY than when I was 12 years old! 

Step 2.  Identify the platforms that matter A LOT to you.  Racial Inequality.  Climate Change.  Immigration.  Abortion.  Police Brutality.  Civil Libertarianism.  Gun Laws.  Traditional Values.  <List Your 3-5 Here!>

  • If you care about it, REALLY care about it! 
  • Don't let it become 'flavor' of the day. 
  • Vote with your Time.  Are you ready to commit your precious time to it for the next 3-5 years?
  • As a person of color shared with me, if I want to commit to being a White Ally of racial equality, I should prepare myself for 'Sustained Discomfort.'
  • 'Sustained Discomfort' will be true for ANY platform you choose.

Step 3.  Build your WISDOM on each platform.

  • Do the research to build your KNOWLEDGE by reading the arguments.
  • Engage difficult conversations and talk to those with EXPERIENCE from all points on the continuum regarding that issue.
  • Consider options to make GOOD JUDGMENTS.

Step 4.  Choose your Course of ACTION

Too much work? 

Yea, it is. 

Look into the eyes of your children, nieces, nephews, or grandchildren and remember, this is your responsibility to ensure their future and the future of their grandchildren. 

We stand on the shoulders of brave and courageous ancestors.  They cared about future generations.  About us. 

It is your turn.

I would love to see the U.S. election in November be conscious, well-considered decisions by each and every voting American.  By November,

  • We the People have spoken up. 
  • We the People empowered ourselves to create our own agenda. 
  • We the People discussed the issues in meaningful dialogue, across party lines and streets that divide us socio-economically. 
  • We the People are diverse voices, every voice a minority …. and heard. 
  • We the People have drawn our conclusions.  Separate and yet with proud respect.

Let's Vote Before the Vote (#voteb4thevote) by choosing and acting with Wisdom. 

Yes, this is a fight.  But NOT a fight with each other.  We the People fight for our grandchildren and their grandchildren.  We fight for what we hold most dear. 

We the people of the United States,

  • In order to form a more Perfect Union,
  • Establish Justice
  • Insure Domestic Tranquility
  • Provide for the Common Defence
  • Promote General Welfare
  • Secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity
  • Do Ordain and Establish
  • This Constitution of the United States of America

As I read each phrase, each one is dear to me.  Let's preserve this for future generations. 

This is YOURS and MY fight … for our Humanity. 


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