Being Breath

stories from the wilderness of everyday life

LifeUnity Voter's Edition

If you are reading this for advice or my opinions for whom you should vote....you are going to be disappointed.

I won't be delving into any political arguments. (Yet.)

I did want to share an interesting observation I had after staring at one of the numerous political junk-mail advertisements during breakfast.  I couldn't help it - it was on the top of the mail pile with a few bits of cereal-milk dropped delicately on the top.  (Our daughter's fault.  Or mine.  Eh, I'll blame it on her.)

I just kept looking at this picture:


(FYI, the baby's head in the woman's arm is actually fine - the doll-head effect is due to my camera on my phone.)  Getting beyond the too-perfect family with the too-perfect smiles and too-perfect clothes (giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming they are just awesome that way), did you notice the feet?  At first I took it like anyone else would - they are all just taking a happy little stroll.

Look closer.  They are all stepping on the same foot, back left foot propped nicely behind them.

When you are aware of this, the photo almost takes on an amusing posed-quality.  (At least for me.)  I can hear the photographer saying, "OK, balance, take the other foot back and put your toes down, now balance...baaaaallaaaannceeee...."

It bothered me.  For whatever reason, it brought to mind a recent article I had read on models and how all of the pictures are severely retouched.  How we hold ourselves to impossible beauty standards.  How the media likes to set and/or reinforce those standards.

I won't get into the details of my feelings on this, but if we are "faking" the reality of beauty standards....how is this photo not faking the reality of politicians...and politics...and the guiding laws, issues, and moral decisions that we are supposed to be living by?

It may be a jump, but not a far one.

Once we start removing the humanity of an individual - trying to make them something they are not - we start imposing false standards.  Everyone else is then expected to meet those standards or, at the very least, be striving towards them.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to vote for someone just because they can balance on one foot and have an attractive family.

When did we lose the celebration of that which makes us human, alive, vulnerable, and therefore, beautiful?  No wonder politics is so confusing to many of my generation.  We like to see issues being examined, conversations being had, change happening alongside the flow of time.  Instead, we have set standards for our politicians that they now dutifully follow - to be beyond humanity, flaws - to be able to balance a life that isn't meant to stay in balance.

For those in the US who are blessed to have the opportunity to have a voice, please vote today.  We are fortunate to have a say.  Remember that.

If this gets you even a little bothered, remember the power you have as an individual...not only through voting, but in living your life every.single.day in the manner that makes you feel alive.


No false standards allowed.

I am only one, but I am one.  
I cannot do everything, but I can do something.  
And I will not let what I cannot do 
interfere with what I can do.  
~Edward Everett Hale

I expect to pass through life but once.  
If therefore, there be any kindness 
I can show, or any good thing I can do
 to any fellow being, let me do it now,
 and not defer or neglect it, 
as I shall not pass this way again.  
~William Penn