Tuesday, November 4, 2008
In the spirit of what may be the most noteworthy national election of my voting life time, I am reminded of my lack of desire to follow a script for my life.
In following the campaigns of our candidates, I have noticed that speeches obviously being read from a script vs. those that are spoken in the moment have a vastly different impact on me, the voter. Being a listener, I am opening myself to not only hear the information being shared in the form of promises, programs and plans, but also to feel the heart of the speaker. In my view, Barack Obama, was able to convey that sense of authenticity, without question. Even if I may not have agreed with every plan, there was a very natural connection and inspiration that came through his words, because they were his in the moment. A side effect of this authentic connection was that there would be room for disagreement and peaceful compromise.
Yesterday, I volunteered at the Obama/Biden Campaign office to make phone calls encouraging people to vote and to offer a ride to the Polls if needed. Unfortunately, I was not prepared to be handed a script to read. I understand that a script in this venue is the easiest and fastest way to share the needed information, yet when I looked it over before making my first call, I gulped. I wondered how I could last 3 hours reading this script and not just be myself in conversation.
After doing my script homework, I made my first call. Thankfully, it was a machine that answered. Somehow reading the script to a machine, didn't bother me as much as the dreaded anticipated live person on the other end of the phone. As I moved through my list, many of my calls turned out to be automated listeners, which seemed perfect for me, the automated speaker.
Once I was about half way down my first page of contacts, I had a live person on the other end of the line. I took a deep breath and began to read the intro of "Hello, my name is ____________. How are you today?" Without any warning, my authentic voice took over. I found myself, just talking....basically sharing the same information in the script, but it was being said my way. I understand many volunteers needed a script to do this job, but for me, breaking free of it, began to create some fun for me in the process of making these calls.
I enjoyed engaging with the people that would speak with me. I didn't get upset with those that hung up on me. It was enjoyable to simply share the importance of sharing our voice in this election by voting.
So what does that have to do with living life? For starters, living a scripted life that someone else wrote for you can be very uncomfortable. It may not be a fit or a match for who you are. It may feel like you are playing a role, rather than being authentically present with the unfolding story of your life. Living a scripted life can eliminate the exciting unknowns that can create a stimulating and joy-filled experience. Living by a script is limiting you to a one dimensional plane and sacrifices your gift of creating in the moment, trusting you will be lead and making choices that come from within you rather than outside of you.
So on this historic election day of 2008, I encourage you to go out and vote authentically. You'll know it's authentic by how good it feels.