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“In a democracy, people get the leaders they deserve.” – Joseph de Maistre

“I’ll be damned if I will let them ruin our country. If we don’t win this election, we should start a revolution.”

This was shared with me recently when I was in Minneapolis for a speaking engagement.

The man continued by sharing which candidate he is against and how the election of that person, and that party, will ruin the country. It’s worth noting, he never did share which candidate he is voting for or how his candidate could improve the state of our union.

This man is far from being alone.

Traveling the country this fall, many have shared with me how disenfranchised they feel. Wondering aloud: How a country of 325 million could nominate these two people? How, regardless of who wins, a majority of the populace will be upset?

So, how did we get here? Much of our present perspective is not in line with true reality.

Let me explain.

What we focus on grows. And who gives us our focus? The media. What we mustn’t forget is that media outlets are motivated less by sharing the facts and more by keeping their viewers tuned in, so that they produce profits.

Their favorite tool to do this is fear. Thus, the 24-hour news cycle is wired to produce stories and dramatic headlines that shine bright lights on issues that magnify negativity and lead to feelings of discouragement.

But, my friends, there is a hope-filled path we can choose to move forward.

Look back on our American roots for inspiration. What made our nation great (other than not having 24-7 news cycles!) has always been our belief in individual accountability, collective cooperation and resolution to give everyone the opportunity to pursue happiness.

Look at the pioneers. When a river appeared in the distance: they didn’t shrug their shoulders and turn around. No. They came together, thought creatively, took responsibility, built a raft and forged forward.

Fast forward to my grandfather’s generation. The challenges were ever-present as they trekked through the Great Depression. Or my father’s generation which faced a nuclear arms race and the Vietnam War. Yes, today we deal with major local, national and international challenges. But the weight of our challenges is not new.

What is new, my friends, is that in today’s discourse, we’ve lost sight of the other side of the story. The truth that we remain extremely blessed.

We live in the freest, wealthiest, healthiest, safest, most creative, connected and expansive global community in the history of the world. Far from perfect, but still the best we’ve yet experienced, and the arc continues upward.

Yes, my friends, there is a mighty river appearing in the distance. The majority of citizens will be disappointed by the election regardless of who wins in November.

But let this uprising inspire you to quit waiting for a change to come by voting someone into office, and instead personally elect true change in your heart and actions. [Tweet this] | [Share on Facebook]

After all, in a democracy, people get the leaders they deserve.

This is your day. Live Inspired.

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Live Inspired Together is a community of friends changing the world together, starting with their own. In a world that often focuses on negativity, John O’Leary - Live Inspired shares the other side of the story through his member-supported channels (essays, Live Inspired Podcast, video, webcasts, social platforms) to connect our community and share inspiration and actions to live it. Support now.