This is it! The New Year is finally here, and I will be running for City Council. I have prepared myself mentally for what is about to come. I believe it will be an exciting and interesting journey, one where I will be put in situations that will question my values and not always be pleasant yet provide me with a voice for all. I am also happy to note that three of my Cornwall acquaintances are running as well, every one of them exceptional in their own way.
Am I ready for it? Yes, I am. I am ready for the ride of my life and would love if you travel with me. Now, some won’t want to travel with me and that’s ok. No matter where we go in life, we will face people who are negative, who oppose our ideas, who will upset us or who simply do not like us. There are close to 7 billion people out there and you won’t be able to please all of them!
Conflict is a fact of life and conflict will trigger emotions in us that will drive us to our most basic survival instinct: react and attack back to defend ourselves. However, we have the ability to control our responses and move towards our higher selves. We cannot let negative comments, which comes from a place of low self-esteem, bother us to begin with.
What I have learned in my forty plus years is when someone attacks you nastily, it really never is about you. It is generally a reflection of how that person feels about themselves. Although, it is not okay to go through life accepting other people’s mistreatment, in most situations, people’s comments reflect on their situation or character more than they do on your situation. People who go on and on about other people are often so bored and unhappy with their own lives that they want to take others down with them.
When bitter Mr. Smith from down the street writes a snide remark about your accomplishments or your friends, smile and let it go. He is miserable and it has nothing to do with your life. You may even want to reach out to him – he probably could use a good dose of positivity. Everyone is entitled to their opinions as I am. It’s all a matter of perspective. What I consider to be a positive can be perceived by another as a negative. However, I also have the right and power to choose my response and I choose peace over getting into a pissing match with someone else.
It’s also a HUGE energy waster. There is a saying “where attention goes, energy flows” and what we focus on tends to expand itself. I want my energy and desire to go towards making our community a better place to live for all. Our community faces many major challenges, an aging population, high levels of poverty and an increase demand for more municipal services which receives less provincial and federal input. We can build better neighborhoods where people care for each other and are prepared to lend a helping hand. We can strengthen our community and increase civic engagement with residents of all ages, gender and income levels. This journey is not for the miserable; it’s for those who believe that “if you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path” –Buddha. Will you join me?