Words have power. During this election cycle we have seen it first hand. Words have the power to divide. They can sow fear and hate. Or we can choose to use them differently.
Today is election day in the United States. It’s a day I have always looked forward to. I take pride in doing my civic duty and casting my ballot. I have a voice and am I proud of that. And, as most of us know, so much of the power in that vote come in the local and state elections. I find that those officials often have much more influence on my daily life. They are not as divisive…and they have a great deal of impact.
But this year, I am looking forward to the election more than ever.
I just want it to be over. Like many Americans the process (and 2020 in general) have worn me down. I am tired of the political ads, the signs, the arguments on social media and the mean spiritedness. And while I certainly blame the candidates for this vitriol to an extent, I see most of it in the American people.
“We the people” need to do better.
As Mitch Albom talked about in this article, the election will not matter if we don’t change. As I have said for years, while we love to blame the media for everything, most of the time it’s not CNN or Fox that is filling up my Facebook feed with mean spirited trash. It’s us. My friends (from both sides) post every day with hateful memes and articles claiming the other side of the political spectrum is evil. It’s exhausting.
That being said, the national media is certainly not blameless in all of this. As a matter of fact, as the sun comes up tomorrow (and yes, it will) we will hopefully have a winner of this election. When those results are announced, one side of the political spectrum will be annoyed…and they will use their medium to share it. There will be complaining and frustration and it will be easy to get sucked in.
Don’t fall for it.
As I said at the beginning, words have power. Rather than the words hate, anxiety, evil, or divide, let’s choose different words. Let’s choose words that represent what we want our country to be. Let’s use words that help us imagine a country that we want for our kids and grandkids.
How about words like unity, success, growth, hope and love? Today is Election Day. Cast your vote. Do the patriotic thing. Tomorrow we need to get back to being the kind of Americans we are all proud of.
Words matter. Choose them wisely.
Kirby Hasseman is the CEO of Hasseman Marketing, a full service marketing agency located in Ohio. Learn more about Hasseman Marketing here. And if you are interested in have him speak at your next event, you can learn more here.