It matters not how straight the gate, how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
-William Ernest Henley
Well it's the day after and everyone has an opinion about the results. My MIL has been in mourning all day. Last night as the results were coming in she was lamenting about how Obama is going to ruin the country. When I said that ultimately, Obama isn't in control, God is and that the scriptures show that He has always prepared a way for the righteous, and that worrying only serves Satan's purposes, she actually seemed to get huffier about the whole situation. I guess I forgot for a moment that as a partially active twenty-something with lots of weird ideas I'm not supposed to talk to a rabidly Republican sixty-something temple worker about faith- even when I think I'm giving words of comfort.
I think MIL has been thinking that the Republican party was the last hope for redemption for our nation. I've come to the conclusion that it's not a president that defines our country- it's us as a people and as individuals. My life has been far more impacted by the actions of individuals around me than by any president. My in-laws' failure to teach their kids about money and life did far more harm for us than any of the economic policies from any president. Malamute's ex-boss' refusal to pay us for the work he did in September impacted us more than a recession. On the other side, information we found from a number of sources about raw and vegan eating along with food sensitivities have done more to help our family's health than any universal healthcare plan Obama (or Romney) have come up with. Same with a great chiropractor and the Dr. Christopher's herbal formulas for Duckling's spina bifida. Books on success and positive thinking have done more to create job opportunities for our family than any legislation. Ultimately, I believe it's up to each of us to create the kind of life we want and to "be the change we wish to see in the world." No president can make your life better.
My life has been impacted for the better by the number of people who have bought local and organic produce thereby creating more of a demand and greater availability. They built a new hospital not far from where I live and sent out all sorts of info about how the maternity wing has adjustable beds, birthing balls, birthing bars, and nicer rooms, a direct result of a number of women turning to midwives who offer the same services. I donate to charities who actually rescue women and girls from sex-trafficking and provide emotional counseling and career guidance and training to help them move on with their lives, something we don't need to wait for legislation to make a reality.
Also, I really don't think the country is totally headed down the toilet. Montana and Alabama both passed nullification measures for "Obamacare". Other states have passed measures about marijuana and then take a look at the number of states that have passed pro- or anti- same sex marriage legislation. Now, I have no desire to use marijuana or get a same-sex marriage, but I support the right of the people of these states to decide what they want to see happen in their states. I don't think we should have blanket legislation from the federal government for most things. And hey, if you don't like the laws, work to get people to see your perspective or move elsewhere if you choose. (One reason I don't want to move to Alabama, for example, is their strict anti-midwife laws. I don't agree with them, but I support the state of Alabama's right to set its own laws and I don't want a federal amendment forcing all states to OK home birth.) With the number of controversial issues coming up, people seem to be taking more initiative on the state level to decide things for themselves.
As for our little family, we make the decision about how to use our finances, educate our children, take care of our health, and to treat each other with love, kindness and respect. And no matter what happens, that will put us in a good spot. No one can take away our ability to choose how we will react to our circumstances.