It’s Time We Take a Breath

The debates are behind us. The candidates have spoken. The pundits have weighed in. The campaigns that have engulfed us and divided us are in the final stretch.

This is called crunch time. Get-out-the-vote time. Time to double down. Make calls. Find the remaining undecided voters. Hurry, hurry, hurry!

I suggest otherwise. I say, it’s time for all of us to take a breath. Breathe in. Breathe out.

That’s what I’ve learned to do when there is really nothing more to stay. Breathe. No more talking. No more yelling. No more trying to convince your neighbor of this or that. Just breathe.

This, I would argue, is a moment for each of us to ask ourselves how we can be a part of bringing our country together. This is a moment for each of us to think about how we can heal the division in ourselves, in our families, and in our country.

I thought it was interesting that Canada released a video this week reminding Americans of how great we already are. I thought it was worth noting that a letter written by former President George H.W. Bush for Bill Clinton went viral. Why was that?

George H.W. Bush Bill Clinton Letter 3


I believe it is because we all long for our leaders to be decent, well-mannered, and classy. We all long for examples of good sportsmanship, good character, and goodness. We want to see it in our leaders because we want to know that it’s within ourselves. The truth is, decent good people are all around us. Good, strong, well-mannered people. People with R’s next to their names, and good people with D’s, and I’s, and G’s.

This week, I hope we all take a breath (a big one). I hope we each take a moment to see ourselves as Healers, because we each have that capability within us. We really do.

Perhaps we could all think about what kind of handwritten letter we might write if we were one of the two presidential candidates. May we take a page from those who have gone before—be it George H.W. Bush, Al Gore or the many, many others. Those who went down to the wire, accepted the will of the people and then rose up as healers.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Get out a piece of paper, breathe in and breathe out, and start writing.

That’s what I’ve been thinking about this week. What about you?


About the Author

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Maria Shriver is a mother of four, a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer, a six-time New York Times best-selling author, and an NBC News Special Anchor covering the shifting roles, emerging power and evolving needs of women in modern life. Since 2009, Shriver has produced a groundbreaking series of Shriver Reports that chronicle and explore seismic shifts in the American culture and society affecting women today. Shriver was California’s First Lady from 2003 to 2010 and, during that time, she spearheaded what became the nation's premier forum for women, The Women's Conference. Shriver's work is driven by her belief that all of us have the ability to be what she calls Architects of Change -- people who see a problem in their own life or the community around them, then step out of their comfort zone and do what it takes to create the solution. Like her page on Facebook or follow her on Instagram.

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