Why Democracy Matters and
Why You Should Vote
Donna & David
"If a republic be small, it is destroyed by a foreign force.
If it be large, it is ruined by internal imperfection."
– Montesquieu (18th Century French Political Philosopher)
This “internal imperfection” traces to a basic tendency in human nature: those with power tend to use it selfishly. Everyone else loses. Throughout history, the ruling elite has found ways to justify this arrangement as being for the common good!
Democracy is the counterbalance to this tendency. Democracies share four basic features: Fair elections: the citizens choose their leaders and periodically re-elect or replace them. Rule of Law: Laws apply equally to all citizens. Participation: Citizens are allowed to participate freely and fully in the life of their society. Human Rights: Basic human rights are protected for every citizen.
Experiments in democracy trace back 2,500 years to Athens, the first democratic city-state. Humanity has been trying to perfect the form ever since. The United States contributed a sophisticated system of checks and balances within a clear separation of governing powers.
The Scottish historian, Alexander Tytler, noted in the early 1800s that the average lifespan of the world’s greatest democracies to that point had been about 200 years. During those 200 years, even democracies that flourished progressed through a sequence that included going from the bondage of a dictatorship to courage to liberty to abundance to complacency to expanded government control and back into the bondage of a dictatorship.
Can modern democracies interrupt this cycle? Perhaps the most famous observation pertinent to this question is, “Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
Western industrialized democracies have certainly reached the abundance stage. Have we also lapsed into complacency? Complacency doesn’t mean not caring. It means a sense of entitlement and self-absorption: becoming numb – in order to protect what one has accumulated – becoming numb about the principles of democracy that allow the abundance to be distributed with at least some promise of fairness.
Striving toward greater fairness and equality is the reason democratic forms of government were created in the first place! Are we headed toward the fate Tytler’s stages predict? Is our democracy strong enough to safeguard us from this sequence?
The Canadian poet and activist, Margaret Atwood, observed “The fabric of democracy is always fragile everywhere because it depends on the will of citizens to protect it, and when they become scared, when it becomes dangerous for them to defend it, it can go very quickly.”
What does all this have to do with Energy Medicine? For starters, alternative health modalities are under-supported or even suppressed by government oversight and funding. If this matters to you, you can be an influence. You can make your stance known to your local, state, and national officials, and you can vote for those who are responsive. Local politics in particular often elude people’s radar or sense of importance, yet they are where wider directives get translated into your community’s practices and where you can join with your neighbors in influencing larger political processes.
If we passively watch energy medicine be regulated out of existence or simply voice displeasure on social media about a political climate that funnels the lion’s share of resources toward less effective healthcare practices, it is only ourselves we have to blame.
Being active on an issue that is important to you, such as energy medicine, builds muscle for engagement with more far-reaching concerns. We are all hearing from the left and the right that this is the most important election of our lifetime. Each depicts a grim future if the other side wins. Like any other major threat to your health, we encourage you to investigate the choices in this election as if life-as-you-know-it depends upon it. We believe it does!
The nature of democracy is such that each citizen is empowered to come to a choice and to translate that choice into influence at the ballot box. This is your most fundamental political responsibility to the future of your children and your country. It is what you can do. It matters! It is a physical action and it has an energetic counterpart!
Some people make a conscious choice not to participate in the political process, instead focusing their energies on a relatively limited social media audience. With more than half of those eligible often not bothering to vote, they are inadvertently empowering those in government to ignore their position and interests.
The privilege to vote in the U.S. has been hard-won, from the grisly eight-year war of independence through the suffrage movement to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Yet it is also human nature for those of us who grew up with the right to vote to take it for granted. Please don’t!
The fundamental, vital question facing us today is, Do we have the collective will to learn from humanity’s past, safeguard what has arguably been the most successful experiment in democracy ever, and move it forward? The force of history, in Tytler’s analysis, is for us to move backward at this point toward a power structure that rests with a small number of people. Our collective will is the most fundamental antidote to a backward slide, and it is about to be tangibly expressed in our vote.
The profound differences in viewpoint about just what is a backward slide and what is the nature of the government we want for our children and grandchildren may feel disorienting, even overwhelming. Bottom line, though, is that after listening and carefully evaluating what the leaders and experts have to say, you are the ultimate source of authority about how you should vote. And this requires reaching inward, into your highest wisdom.
We named our organization “Innersource” because our purpose is to cultivate inner sources of wisdom and inner sources of healing. Energy Medicine and Energy Psychology are paths into your inner wisdom. You can calm your anxieties, quiet the endless chatter of your mind, and be propelled by the guiding light within you. We are all being called to do no less than this, and with all our strength. That in itself is transformative. Heed this call!
As discouraging as things may look in the U.S. and other places, the world’s democracies still have a tremendous amount of juice! Support the energy that matters to you with your vote. Consider history. Consider the leaders. Look within. Bring that consciousness to your ballot. Do not squander the opportunity! And in the same spirit that we are writing this appeal to you, please go out of your way to actively encourage others to do the same.
Donna and David
P.S. We have obviously dedicated this e-Letter to encouraging our U.S. readers to cast your vote in the election this November. To our readers outside the U.S., and for everyone, we will be back with our EEM-focused themes in October. But for right now we want to emphasize the absolute importance of this message by staying silent about all else. Please vote!
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