Cards for the Day: Monkey and Bear, Flexibility and Assertiveness, Mischief and Power: A National Dialogue

Monkey and Bear from the Children's Spirit Animal Cards

Since we were all behaving like children over the election yesterday, and I happen to have a deck of children’s oracle cards on my desk that I’ve been asked to review, I thought I’d pull cards today for the child in all of us, from the Children’s Spirit Animal Cards deck.

Later, I’ll do the official deck review and provide a link to it, but for now, let’s just try it out on the cards for the day. Today I pulled Monkey and Bear. Monkey and Bear from the Children's Spirit Animal CardsThe spirits of flexibility and assertiveness (or, mischief or humor, and power, depending on how you look at it! Everything has its flip side).

Note that the Monkey card, which might be too small for you to read, is captioned, “Try something new,” while the Bear card is captioned, “Stand up for yourself.”

What do these cards mean on the day after a presidential election, with hurt feelings still sweltering all around? To me, these cards speak of a national dialogue. Nobody has to back down and admit the other was right, per se. Bear wouldn’t. Yet that’s what we often do after an election. Go home and grumble and wait for next time. See what happens. Pretty much slink off with our tails between our legs — even if we won!

This time, why wait for another election to get charged up? Let’s use our monkey minds and try something new. If you want change, there are more effective tools available in a democratic society than the vote. How disempowering to rely on the vote as your only mechanism for change and resistance! We can organize, we can use the power of free speech and the press, we can protest, we can hold demonstrations, we can write to elected officials, and we can start by simply beginning a true national dialogue. Not the kind where we talk only to those who agree with us and mostly say mean things about the other side. The kind of dialogue where we get together with the other side in order to learn from them and to give them a chance to learn from us. The kind where we develop a monkey-like sense of humor about our own failings.  This would be new.

And by the way, I like writing as a way to construct a national dialogue because it’s very peaceful. Nobody ends up shouting and banging on the table! Bear would like to roar sometimes, but Monkey (and I was born in the Chinese Year of the Monkey), prefers a quieter M.O. Partly because Monkey doesn’t want to miss the funny parts! Of which there will likely be many.

The kind of dialogue where we assess how our third parties are doing and find ways to support them the rest of the time, not just in a presidential election year, if we want them to do well. Can we start on this project, today?

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