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You Are More Than Your Vote: Sunday musings…11/1/2020

Sunday musings…11/1/2020

1 Fall. Back. An extra hour to your day in 2020. I slept in.

Why take a chance?

2 Election. Two. More. Days. Then we all learn a new word from the lawyers.

Admit it, last time you thought chad was a fish or the name of a guy in a silly commercial. 

3 Sports. At the moment I am pretending to watch the Browns game. This morning I pretended to care about yesterday’s OSU football game, and I was honestly curious to see if Padraig Harrington had held on in the PGA tournament being held in the Bahamas (he did not). There’s a rumor that high school football and soccer games are happening. One of the local parochial schools came in second in the state golf tourney. 

Sports are happening. Sports are a thing. 

Midway through the initial nationwide lockdowns the New York Times declared that there were no sports being played and therefore there was no need for a separate sports section in the national edition on Sundays. You kinda got the feeling that the editors and writers for the paper were happy to drop sports, or if not fully dropping, to demote them to a level several steps below the wedding announcements. You got a strong sense that the NYT, former home of giants such as Anderson and Berkow, writers whose prose was worthy of any subject whatsoever, was somehow embarrassed that they had a sports section. How else to explain the continued absence of a Sunday Times sports section.

When I was a relatively naïve college athlete who thought everyone liked sports I came into contact with this point of view. During one of my years in school there was a movement among a significant percentage of the college’s faculty to pull back from athletics. It’s been many, many years so what I remember is not so much the details as how it made me feel as a member of the college community. Unwanted, frankly. Mind you, this was many years before we became nationally renowned for our teams’ successes. We were competitive; games were fun. Then we all went to class. Still, a part of our faculty felt that athletic pursuits were somehow lesser pursuits. 

I’ve led a largely intellectual life since leaving college. Funny how I still seem to have the soul of an athlete. 

4 Wednesday. The day after election day is highly unlikely to bring closure to the election. Good, bad, or indifferent, we are unlikely to get the landslide victory that will head off the stampede to the courts for which both campaigns have been girding for many months. Eventually, though, a result will be certified. A president will have been elected. No one knows precisely when that point will have been reached, but it will come. When it does, I’d like to ask that each one of us pledges that we will do two things that Americans have done time and again during ages in which there was both deep alignment and profound disagreement about where our country should head.

I’ll start: Regardless of the results I will accept the outcome of the election. Regardless of the results I will acknowledge that there will be people I know and care about who are deeply saddened by the outcome; whether we agreed or disagreed on the issues I will affirm our friendship and do what I can to comfort them. 

In the end we do not live our lives within the confines of a ballot box. While there are definite effects of elections in our lives, how we live amongst each other, with each other, is so much more impactful. Your vote certainly counts, and I hope that you will have voted. But how you treat your people counts more. Indeed, how you treat people with whom you simply come into random contact counts more. 

Come Wednesday or whenever, I pledge to see you as who you are and who you’ve always been. Still.

We’ll all still be here, so I’ll see you next week…

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