The counting’s over, what now?

Most of the ballots have been counted. The mainstream media has called the election for President Barack Obama. Many are deeply disappointed, perhaps angry. Others are over-joyed, perhaps gloating. Some are suffering, more concerned with their need for food and shelter than in the outcome of an election. Regardless of your response to the election, its now over.

A question confronts us, one that meets us every morning whether we’re attentive to it. Will anything change unless I (we) change?

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The truth that we all know (and often fail to acknowledge) is that nothing will, or even can,change unless we change.

The market will not save us. Corporations will not deliver to us a life that is marked by a sense of peace, abundance, depth, warmth, and friendship.

The government will not deliver us. It will not create within us a sense of personal dignity, a valuable vocation, generosity, or contentment.

These ultimate virtues, these deep values that give shape to a good life, can only come through faith, through gift–they can only come in the context of a particular people in a particular place. Their genesis is in your family, your neighborhood, your church.

This theme, this hope, was tapped into by Barack Obama in 2008–the hope for a better, deeper life together as a nation.

I don’t believe that he did or could deliver this, but he certainly exposed a deep yearning in many for something richer, a fuller life.

In the end, to get that sort of life we have to create it. We have to reach outside of ourselves and cultivate it in the places we live. We have to choose it–casting a ballot for a life that values something more than material prosperity or governmental deliverance.

The question I’m asking myself as I sit in a plane somewhere over the nation’s heartland is: how will I be the change I wish to see in the world, at least in my part of the world?

I’m committing to do three things to play my part in creating a better life:

1. Slowing down. I want to savor life.
2. Giving thanks. I want to count blessings.
3. Reaching out. I want to deepen friendships.

What will you do to help create a richer life?

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