It's election-eve in the Land of OZ. If history repeats itself, after the election you can say goodbye to your preferred candidate for another few years (until he or she next needs your vote). As Robert Frost offered, in three-words, what he'd learned from life: 'It goes on'.
Here's a sure-fire vote-winner. Too bad it was not used during the recent campaign because, providing you do it, the result will add years to your life. The message is to quit worrying: worrying is a waste of time.
A fellow went to a psychoanalyst. He told the psych of his concerns about particular dreams he was having. According to the bill-payer his dreams always featured a tepee and a wigwam. 'What should I do?' he pleaded. The psychoanalyst was quick to identify the problem and responded. 'You're too tense (two tastes)', she said. 'Relax!' 'Stop worrying.'
Tension (anxiety, if you prefer), is the illness of our age. We worry about ourselves, our family, our friends, our work, the state of the country, who'll win the election, global conflicts, and so on. If we continue along this path, sooner or later we can expect to get sick, age faster, and die sooner.
Even though we know that caring does not accomplish anything, we still do it. Even if we worry twenty times more, it will not change the situation that's bought the worry beads out. In fact, our anxiety could make things worse.
Any change from worried needs to come from us. Changing need not be of the Groucho Marx-type: 'If you do not like my principles, I've got others (otherwise, of course, becoming a politician is a career-choice). Even though things may not be as we'd like them to be, we can still be content, knowing that we are trying our best and will continue to do so. Being happy in the present moment is all that's required: there's no need for anything else. And there are various tools that can help us.
One of those tools that goes under the banner of contemplative practices is meditation. Improved mental health, reduced blood pressure, retarding the aging process, and enhancing the quality of our lives, are just some of the research-supported outcomes associated with regular 'doses' of meditation. Stories abound of people who took responsibility for their own healing and cured themselves through contemplative practices such as meditation. And the good news is, meditation is cost- and drug-free, does not require wearing funny clothes, and can be done anywhere at any time; during boring meetings, heard-it-before homilies, in fact in most places (except when you're behind the wheel). There's even more good news: the older we get, the more time becomes available for meditation. As Plato said, 'The spiritual eyesight improves as the physical eyesight declines'.
Sometimes it should be mandatory for those who want our vote to take-up meditation. As Thich Nhat Hanh says, 'If we do not know how to breathe, smile, and live every moment of our life deeply, we will never be able to help anyone'.