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What will guide your vote?

I’m not quite sure why I feel so passionately engaged in the election now nearing its conclusion here in the United States. After all, I’m not a citizen of this country. I was born in Great Britain, and lived most of my life in Canada, until I moved to Colorado to marry a wonderful woman named JoAnn.

But I do feel passionate about this election and it's for two reasons.

I love this complex, brutally divided nation called America that is now my home. I love it because despite its many flaws, it tries, it really does try to respect and affirm basic human freedoms and values for its own people and all the rest of the world too.

The other reason I’m so engaged with this election is because I love balance and I love truth.

I love the strong, steadfast, but compassionate nature of truth. I love integrity. I love that timeless, indefinable quality called character.

In the quiet domain of my own heart, I notice when I see and feel “integrity” expressed through the demeanor and words of one of the candidates. I notice when I see something else – expediency perhaps? -- revealed.

Nothing is black or white, of course, in this world. There are flaws in each one of us simply because of having been born into this imperfect world.

But when I see a man standing up as best he can for the balance and wholeness of life, and for the aspirations and needs and above all the potential of those he is called to serve, and doing so with a steadfast, dependable spirit, my heart goes out to him.

If I had a vote, I would vote for this man who for me best represents the vision and character called for in these difficult times. As it is, I can only applaud this man and wish him well.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the above. Please write. I send you best wishes and love.

Picture credit:  SeptemberRayne

 

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Sheila October 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Good day Christopher
As a Canadian I can see that my neighbour is as you say brutally divided. I think a lot of people worldwide are waiting to see what happens in the elections , I’m not sure I would want the job so one really has to respect anyone willing to take it on right now.
There are many things that need to be fixed on this planet of ours and the US is an important part of the complex puzzle we are all faced with.
Hopefully after the elections have taken place many Americans will be able to wake up and find that dream again.
Too many have endured hardships , we all have to take it one step at a time and rebuild, take on new thoughts, no matter where we live. It is a changed world since 2008, we just have to take a step back and really figure out where we go from here, the mistakes of the past should not be the ones we take to the future.
cheers for now
Sheila

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Christopher Foster October 24, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Amen to everything you say Sheila. I much appreciate your positive message. As you say, so critical to take it one step at a time and be willing to change our mind and let new thoughts and ideas and actions be born. I know from my own experience that it really is possible to overcome mistakes of the past. Blessings to you Sheila.

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Timaree October 24, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Well, it sounds as if you are describing the man I voted for. I am proud of my president who was dealt a harsh hand for a term in office with an economy that tanked and a congress which stated they would put up every barricade possible yet we now have at last, a health program (needs a lot of tweaking but at least it’s in place), we are ending the second of two wars and we are improving on every economic indicator there is.

President Obama reminds me of the Little Engine That Could. Did you ever read that story? I know its a children’s book but it’s worth reading. That little engine had a heavy load to haul and he steadily chugged and chugged up the steep mountain saying “I think I can, I think I can” and finally he made it and the load to the needy townspeople was delivered and everyone was happy.

Well, everyone isn’t happy with the President but I am happy with what he has done or tried to do and I voted to keep him in so he can do more. I imagine many people won’t like my decision (amongst my siblings I am the only Obama fan) but there it is.

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Christopher Foster October 25, 2012 at 9:54 am

Thank you for your words and for joining in the conversation Timaree. I love your reference to The Little Engine That Could, it’s a story I’ve loved and been familiar with for a long time.

Stretching things just a little, I am thinking to myself, “There is a ‘little engine’ in every one of us and its name is truth. It’s our only hope, really. The only true answer to the challenges that face us. It is our own true nature, our own beautiful, ageless, strong spirit. Another story comes to mind, “The Little Prince.” A little spontaneity and fun and wonder doesn’t hurt either does it in these challenging times?

Have a wonderful day and a wonderful life Timaree.

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Carmelo October 24, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Being US born and raised and having lived over 60 years, I’ve seen a lot of changes in our country. I’ve also talked with many people from other countries who don’t really understand the values we grew up with. Often they see us as meddlers at best and as bullies or worse.

It’s tough to explain our desire to help, to see people flourish and have opportunities all around the world. Sure, we want to protect our economic interests and that factors in. But as individuals we’re caring and giving and altruistic (in general.)

One way to look at it is this: look at bloggers and their desire to “fix the world” or serve other with their words, ideas, passions. There are people like this from all over. They’re not trying to take over the world just because they’re passionate and want to influence people and serve them. That’s kind of the same mindset of many Americans, Canadians and others … we’re not alone in this but we’ve often been lucky enough to take the lead.

Are we divided? Sure, but that’s also what has been a hallmark of our country. The apparent infighting, while polarizing during elections, keeps us on our toes and keeps our leaders from exerting too much power over the people. We have these divisions for a reason, of course. In a word: Freedom. Is it different or tougher than before. I don’t think so. It’s more evident. It’s more pervasive maybe, and it’s getting more negative but it’s really not all that different.

Yes, I want our country to flourish and come together and work hard and believe that we can make a difference. Just as we as individuals want to believe we can make a difference. And we can. But, I’m also glad so many of us are seeing that others in the world have just as much value and that differences in culture do not mean better or worse.

Our election day coming up could mean a change in economic perspectives and i hope we can get back on our economic feet. We do play a big role in the world in that regard and I sincerely hope we can fix some of those problems.

Here’s to a bright future and to all of us believing that we can make a difference!
Carmelo recently posted..WELCOME TO CRITTER WISDOM

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Christopher Foster October 25, 2012 at 10:18 am

Wonderful thoughts Carmelo. Objective, balanced, and passionate. I love how you elaborate on the real nature and intent of American values but I also thank you for your input regarding this matter of being “divided.” There are two sides to everything, aren’t there. I do see how in the U.S. the apparently conflicting views and the infighting, as you say, can help maintain balance and, yes, freedom.

I find your words very helpful and hopeful. It’s a pleasure to share life’s journey with you. I love your eloquent closing words, and they are running through my mind right now. Yes. Here’s to a bright future and to all of us believing we can make a difference. All the best to you Carmelo.

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Cathie MacDonald October 24, 2012 at 8:16 pm

As a small business owner, I am voting for the man who will allow me to continue employing people and growing a business. I have over thirty employees and the best way for a business to succeed is not to have too many road blocks in your path.

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Christopher Foster October 25, 2012 at 10:25 am

Thank you for sharing this important perspective Cathie. I admire the contribution you are making and your courage in following your dream. I wish you every success as you navigate your way through what I am sure are very real and vexing challenges at times, especially in this current climate. Blessings to you Cathie. Could I ask what is the nature of your business and how long you’ve been running it?

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Arthur October 25, 2012 at 3:50 am

I would like to think thatthe candidate who won did so on the strength of his words rather than the size of his financial backing

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Christopher Foster October 25, 2012 at 10:26 am

Amen to that Arthur. Thank you for your words and it’s great to hear from you again. By the way, how are things doing in “the old country”?

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Nadeja October 25, 2012 at 4:19 am

Dear Chris,
As a citizen of this planet, I agree so much with what you say and this description fits all situations. The leadership qualities of integrity, care and love which one displays is what touches the heart most. I live in Canada and cannot vote, but my heart goes out to the man in whom I see what matters most. God bless America and our wonderful planet.
Blessings and love to you and Jo-Ann.

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Christopher Foster October 25, 2012 at 10:32 am

Thanks Nadeja. I appreciate your participation very much. We are citizens of one planet aren’t we. It’s good to be reminded of this important truth. Blessings and love back to you.

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BarbaraZ October 25, 2012 at 6:00 am

Who will I vote for? I vote for the individual, according to their record… not the flashy ads bombarding us from all directions. I try to look at their true intent, not the fancy words. Now I will step off the topic a bit. Yes, this is a great country but I think that we need to step back and see the changes that have been talked about for years, but never acted upon.

I was most upset over that past 4 years, that there was no effort in Congress to work with the candidate that won. There was a determined effort to undermine every thing he wanted to do. Neither side would compromise with the other… not really. So what if it was not the individual desired by the opposite party. It is the people who are important, not the party. This has been commented on in many ways. I hope Congress was listening. Now, whoever wins… they (Congress) will have a chance to show that they were listening.

I was most upset when I saw, that the candidate who wins the popular vote may still lose… to the candidate who wins through the electoral college. Also, the money spent on campaigning… billions! So much good could have been accomplished with that… then there is the time allowed. Shorter time frame, please!

Sorry for the digression here! You gave me a chance to speak and I have had all this on my mind for soooo long.

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Christopher Foster October 25, 2012 at 11:51 am

Barbara, thank you for your words. I asked my wife to read your comment because she IS a U.S. citizen and she CAN vote. JoAnn is usually succinct. But in this case she sat down in my little office after reading your words and spoke at some length about her disgust at what she sees as a deliberate attempt on the part of Congress these past four years to obstruct Obama and do their best to make sure he doesn’t get a second term.

JoAnn told me she has never voted a “straight ticket” before. But on the new ballot she has just received here in Colorado, she did vote a straight ticket and her ballot is in the mail today as an effort to help level the playing field a little bit.

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BarbaraZ October 25, 2012 at 2:49 pm

I am usually a very quiet person, but this election has me all riled up. We do have such a great country. Where else could such back and forth ‘communication’ take place? Where else can individuals speak out as we are able. I know there countries that have this option as we do, such as Canada, but so many do not realize this.

Jennifer October 25, 2012 at 7:51 am

*sigh*

I once again cast my vote for a losing candidate….always have-LOL. Via absentee, I cast my vote for Gary Johnson from the Libertarian Party. I was futilely hoping that Ron Paul would have won the Republican Primary…but alas…corporatism won out.

And THAT is why I vote Libertarian….those who think that Obama is not just as much of a corporatist as Romney are fooling themselves. Both Democrats and Republicans are beholden to the same corporate god.

Politically, I advocate for freedom and liberty in both the bedroom and in my wallet..something neither the Democrats nor Republicans have a clue about. Personally…I live my life like a “liberal”….I work in charity hospitals, donate time and money to causes I care about…..practice mindfulness, tolerance, and compassion as much as I can on a daily basis….BUT..and this is a big “BUT”….not for one second am I arrogant enough to think that I have all the answers and that everyone should live/think like me…or that I know how to spend your money better than you do. (and I certainly don’t think that the government knows how to spend your money better than you do-LOL) I am not an anarchist but I would definitely say that Thomas Jefferson is my homeboy:-D I favor a VERY limited government and a society based on cooperation and volunteerism..

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Christopher Foster October 25, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Good for you Jennifer. And thanks for the introductory chuckle:-) I appreciate what you say very much. I admire that you stand tall for what you believe in, and you don’t just talk about what you believe in but you practise it in your living, yet don’t try to impose it on other people. Blessings and a whole lot of good luck to you.

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tari October 25, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Yes, there is one who is strong, steadfast, with compassion in his truth. And has integrity. I am voting, once again, for President Obama; in my 56 years I’ve never seen and believed in a political candidate more than the President. He’s accomplished some amazing, life transformative feats that will only be appreciated years down the road when we see the real results, not the political hype from the other side.

My husband has never had health insurance, due to several pre-existing conditions. That will change for the better soon. He looks forward to knowing that he will be taken care of, should complications arise from growing old. I thank President Obama for that.

The military accepts ALL individuals that want to enlist, thanks to the President. It’s been a slow, belittling process to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly. And it’s about time.

If you look on the white houses’ website, you’ll see all that President Obama’s accomplished in his four short years. Give him another four and this nation may just be loved by all nations. Thanks so much

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Christopher Foster October 26, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Tami, thank you for sharing your experience and conviction so clearly. Blessings and every good wish to you and your husband.

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Pat Fuller October 25, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I first met Barack Obama at a backyard cookout in 2004. I talked to him one-on-one and asked him many questions. I decided to support his candidacy for Illinois Senator. I followed him to campaign events all over the state. His message was consistent and unchanging in regard to his concern for middle class workers who want to stay in the middle class.

I liked his message. I’ve had my concerns since his election to the presidency when he signed the NDAA and supported the use of drones. Also, I’ve been saddened by the extreme resistance of the Republicans in Congress and the Blue Dog Democrats. They seemed more intent on pleasing their Tea Party supporters than on helping our country. I voted on September 27 for President Barack Obama.

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Christopher Foster October 26, 2012 at 3:06 pm

It’s a pleasure to hear from you Pat. Thank you for your heartfelt comment. I want to add that I’m sure each candidate has something of value to offer and I’m even more sure that nothing is going to stop “truth” from emerging more clearly in our midst in coming days and years no matter what shifts and changes occur in our external world.

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Maureen Moeller October 27, 2012 at 12:21 am

Oh how we need those words of support and love Christopher! Sometimes it takes a fresh perspective to remind us of how great this nation really can be. But we have never been so intolerantly divided in my 55 years of life, and it is a concern.

For the first time one side is doggedly determined to “oust” the current president rather than focus on its own hopes and dreams for the US. Supported by billions of dollars, thanks to a supreme court decision allowing unlimited corporate contributions, the monetary effort to unseat the president is unsurpassed by any previous campaign in the history of this country.

The disingenuous promise of expedient economic stability rings hollow as we recall, only 4 years ago, our biggest financial institutions recklessly and willfully threw this country under the bus to satiate its greed. Individualism and isolationism now disguise themselves in “free capitalism” and “private enterprise”. Until we ALL understand that we are interconnected and every act impacts all, this struggle will continue and our divisiveness will grow. Until we ALL understand that as long as there are poor, disenfranchised and angry citizens our leaders choose to ignore, we will not as a nation, reach our highest potential.

Only one candidate is willing to do what it really takes to “transform” this nation, as Tari mentioned, and we must give him more time to do it. This candidate strives for the “balance” and “wholeness” for all of America, as was so well said by you Christopher.

As you can see the emotion run high, as do the stakes. Much PEACE and LOVE to you dear Christopher and to the United States of America.

Maureen Moeller

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Christopher Foster October 27, 2012 at 10:09 am

Thank you for your strong, passionate words Maureen. I’m most thankful for the friendship I feel with you. How thankful I am, and how thankful we all can be, that true friendship based in eternal realities such as you mention runs deeper than “politics” and always will.

What a sad irony. As far as I can see, there are truths on both sides of this political divide. But it only works if there are individuals who take personal responsibility to take the balanced view and perspective which is part of life’s true character. All this said, I have to tell you I find ease and comfort in realizing that no matter what happens politically speaking on Nov 6 or any other day who we truly are is untouched by any of it. Truth isn’t going to stop being truth. And one way or another, it is going to have its way…

Love and blessings to you Maureen.

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William Veasley October 28, 2012 at 5:52 am

Christopher: Thanks for an uplifting perspective on the presidential debate. I totally agree with you that it is quite amazing what these men are able to stand up to and how they show no fear. With the weight of millions on their back, they are able to continue and stand strong for something bigger than themselves and that my friend is something beautiful in itself.
You are right that there are truth on boths sides of the campaign and also there are some lies, but like you said, in the end the truth will always shine bright.

Best Wishes,
William Veasley
William Veasley recently posted..The Little Girl Who Could

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Christopher Foster October 30, 2012 at 11:22 am

William, many thanks for your beautiful comment. I love the theme of your blog, ‘Finding happiness in everyday life.” Every good wish.

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Donovan Moore October 29, 2012 at 8:05 am

Voting either party is duality at it’s worst. I challenge anyone to tell me just one thing that President Obama has done to make our country better. I don’t vote as it only encourages more bad behavior btw. So go ahead and vote for the crazy Mormon guy that wears Holy Undies or the Obamer who has killed more innocent children by drone strikes than Bush. As for me, I’m out.

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Christopher Foster October 31, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Thanks for sharing Donovan. Best of luck to you.

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Elizabeth Nunn October 31, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Whenever I vote, I chose to let go of my preconceived ideas, stand in silence, and listen to guidance. You see, I don’t know what the Greater Cycle has in mind. I know how much I appreciate honesty and integrity at the level of heart and mind, but perhaps there are bigger things at work than what I think I know. So, after doing my homework, I listen. One year, long ago, I was stunned by direction. But I held steady and voted for him! This year, I know who I voted for…early balloting in my state. It’s a man who fits my vision for America.

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Christopher Foster October 31, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Thanks so much for your comment Elizabeth. You express yourself beautifully. I think there is a key here that will work in all our situations and in any circumstance we may face.

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Cameron November 14, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Well done Christopher, I felt very proud of you when I read this one, as my husband is a personal trainer and we know only too well how difficult it is to motivate people towards new challenges. You’ll come to love that Swissball!

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Christopher Foster November 15, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Thank you Cameron. So far so good:-)I think I’m beginning to really enjoy the new routines (and the Swissball) even though they put me through my paces. All the best to you and your husband.

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