be aspirational at the polls

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If you're like me these days, you may feel like you're living at the end of a firehose.

...so much going down in our local communities and in Washington, D.C. that the pace is nearly impossible to keep up with. 

It's easy to find oneself in "defensive mode" constantly, proclaiming "this far, and no further" related to the latest environmental rollback, or the scary rise of white nationalism, or the current debate in Essex around firearms.

While it's vital that we identify our "lines in the sand" and make our voices heard about the viewpoints that conflict with our deepest values, I've been reflecting on how important it is that I/we spend time in an aspirational mindset too, working for the changes we DO SUPPORT and HOPE TO CREATE.

I have a dear friend who is a practitioner of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) and uses this change-management tool to identify what is working well for individuals, organizations and communities. The basic tenet of AI is to analyze why something is working well and then to build upon the strengths that already exist.

In these tumultuous times when it's easy to focus on what's wrong with our state and the larger world, I think it's vital to be ever-more intentional about nourishing our aspirations. ...about posing question like these to ourselves:

What aspirational seeds can I plant today? What vision do I hold that builds upon the strengths of the past? Where is my perspective essential in a conversation or action unfolding in my community?

Going to the polls tomorrow on Primary Election Day is an aspirational act of the highest magnitude. It's standing FOR something and including your VOICE in fashioning what's to come.

Chittenden 8-1 voters, I ask for your support tomorrow at the polls (7 a.m.-7 p.m.). I am eager to be a fresh vote for our community and our state, working with you to improve the economic well-being of all Vermonters - truly an aspiration worth fighting for!

Marybeth Redmond