Wednesday Musings: Elections Edition - The Tribe

The day after elections, what a time! Half of you reading are over the moon, while the other half of you are down in the dumps, and EVERYONE is happy to be done with bombardment of political ads! But this election cycle seemed a little bit different than usual. Perhaps it’s simply me growing older and becoming more aware of the things around me, or perhaps it was actually the case, but this election was tense. People seemed scared, angry, and incredibly impassioned about their respective positions, completely unwilling to even acknowledge the merits from across the aisle. This has been where the political landscape of our country has been going for a few years now and it crescendoed yesterday with some of the highest voter turnout in recent history!


But this shift into all or nothing politics has really clouded people's hearts and minds in my opinion, and made them lose focus on the truly important parts of life. At Haka we believe in the tribe. A group of people working and living together, lifting each other up and solving problems together. We believe in community. We believe in small circles of influence. When is the last time you did something nice for your neighbor? For a coworker? Hell when is the last time you did something truly nice and enriching for the people in your own household?

If you want an example of what I’m talking about, think about our city of Lakeland after Hurricane Irma. Entire neighborhoods and communities took to the streets after the storm had passed to clean their yards and help put back together the pieces of their neighbors home. For some people this may have been the last time you truly did something to help your fellow man. For some people this may have been the last time you’ve even seen your neighbors! Why does it take a disaster for people to realize that they are living among people just like them, that their is an opportunity to help people just like them? Instead we spend our time on social media or watching the news, getting the worst of the worst news from faraway parts of the country about people we will never know and issues we will never face, and we get angry. We create tribes with people who don’t know our lives and our problems and we ignore the very people whose homes we drive by every morning and walk by the on the street every day.

Now I’m not saying it’s wrong to vote. I’m not saying it’s bad to care about the struggles of people that are different from you or to be passionate about problems on a large scale. Those things can be good and are necessary in the current structure of our democracy. But those things ARE a problem when you spend so much time focusing on and becoming enraged over them that you completely ignore the community in which you live. So perhaps today, regardless of how you feel about the results of last nights elections, regardless of being Republican or Democrat, perhaps today you just do something good for someone else and get back to the principle of starting with community. Today we should strive to influence our small circles in a positive way.