I made a trip to Washington, D.C. a few weeks ago. It was a really interesting time to be there—just before a presidential election. I heard a lot of negative statements and a lot of worry about the economy and the election and the state our country is in. So I want to show you a quote someone sent to me:
“The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn’t want to go bankrupt. People must once again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”
Do you know who gets credit for that statement? Cicero, who supposedly said it in 55 B.C.! I’m strangely comforted by the fact that the world has had some of these same problems for centuries. So I made a choice to come away from Washington, D.C. feeling positive about the future. I think we’re going to pull through this. We’ve got a great country—we can pull out of this debt and solve these problems—particularly if we all hang in there together.
I was so impressed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie when he stated publicly this past week that Barack Obama was “outstanding to deal with” in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Even though Governor Christie is a Republican and a staunch supporter of Mitt Romney, he didn’t play politics; he praised Obama because he felt praise was due. I thought it was refreshing and I think the American people would love to see more examples of this kind of non-partisan collaboration among our leaders. If our national leaders all had this kind of cooperative mentality, we could pull together and overcome any obstacle in our path. We shouldn’t need something like a hurricane to bring American leaders together as problem-solving partners.
My friend Hyrum Smith recently reissued his 2004 book with the title Pain is Inevitable; Misery is Optional. That’s tied in with what I believe about our country’s difficulties. Let’s realize that pain is inevitable—problems are inevitable—but misery is optional. We don’t have to play the blame game. We can choose to be compassionate and loving and caring. When people want you to join in a pity party about how bad everything is in the country, you can choose not to engage. You can say, “Okay, what can we do to try and make a positive difference in our own community?” and encourage others to be part of the solution.
So, choose to be positive and to do something about it – and right now, doing something means we all have to get out and vote. Vote any way you want—just vote. Decide who you think can really make a difference and help us turn the country around. And don’t forget about the local elections and issues—those are just as important as what’s happening nationally.
We can each make a difference where we are. We can be leaders where we’re planted. Encourage others around you and choose to stay positive. And remember to vote on Tuesday!