Election day is next Tuesday. This has been an especially contentious election year. I dread turning on the TV to watch the World Series or a football game because of all the negative political ads.
Jim Bouchard, bestselling author of Think Like a Black Belt sent a very interesting email last Friday called “Are you willing to lose a dear friend over this election?” I loved what Jim has to say and asked him if I could repost it here. He agreed. Check it out. This is not only great relationship advice, it is great career success advice.
Are you willing to lose a dear friend over this election?
If not…knock it off!
I’m talking about the juvenile, inane, disrespectful and often uniformed political ranting…
• on all the social media platforms
• around the water cooler
• in open public places
Look- I’m a huge proponent of passionate political debate. If you feel strongly about your political position and values you should be vocal.
You should also be respectful.
It’s one thing to broadcast your position on a particular issue or candidate. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with clearly stating the reasons for your support and trumpeting the benefits of your position.
And nobody should think anything less of you for doing so.
Once you join in on the name-calling, denigration and outright slander of anyone and everyone who thinks differently than you do- you’ve crossed the line.
And there are consequences!
Solid friendships and relationships are being damaged and destroyed by this political cycle. There’s no rational reason for it.
First of all, most people are not defined by their political affiliation. Your political leanings may reflect who you are as a person and are likely reflective of your personal values, but above and beyond being a Democrat, Republican or Libertarian you are a person.
As a person, you have neighbors, friends and co-workers with whom you co-exist every day. No matter what their party affiliation or political ideology you’re going to find that most people…
• are working hard to take care of themselves and their families
• love their kids and their pets
• are compassionate and want to help others
• are basically decent and honest people who are not out to do you any harm
Just like you, most people just want to get by in this chaotic, difficult world and create some semblance of success, fulfillment and happiness.
Think about that next time you’re tempted to post what an a-hole someone is because they’re voting for the other guy. Think about that next time you accuse someone of being stupid because they’ve drawn a different conclusion from the same mass media mess of disinformation and spin we all have to try to sort out.
Pay close attention:
The media makes money by selling conflict. This is true from the nightly news to the latest piece of crap reality show.
The mortal enemies you see excoriating one another on the political stage are often playing golf and sharing drinks once the cameras stop rolling.
Unless you have the wealth to purchase your own private island, you have to work and live with the people you disagree with.
Most of all…
EVERYTHING you post on social media can be read by ANYONE…and you CAN’T TAKE IT BACK!
If you lose a friend because that person just can’t accept you for or despite your political ideology- so be it. That friendship existed only on paper.
If you lose a friend because you posted on Facebook that anyone whose politics differ from yours is an ignorant, racist, homophobic, free-loading anti-American Nazi…fill in your favorites…
If that’s why you lose a friend…you deserve it.
What to do you think about what Jim has to say? Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment. As always, thanks for reading my musings on life and career success. I value you and I appreciate you.
Don’t forget: If you want to learn more about how to climb the corporate ladder faster check out the free rebroadcast of a webinar I did recently. You can find it at http://www.mycorporateclimb.com/squeeze_pages/13337-bud-bilanichs-corporate-career-success-webinar/