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Talkin’ Politics

As we are halfway through the primaries, I thought a good topic for today would be how to respectfully discuss politics. You see, I disagree with many who believe that politics and religion shouldn’t be discussed in polite company. I believe that we are all unique, and I love learning about what makes others so unique. Their political beliefs and their religious beliefs are two huge components of it.

I have a list compiled of ways I believe we can open the conversation up respectfully. We have so much to learn from each other, and shying away from certain topics doesn’t do us any good. Getting into arguments with others, however, also hinders progress, in addition to ruining friendships.

I hope this list helps you open the door to conversation. Please let me know if you have anything to add to it!

  1. Listen to the other members of the conversation instead of forming a rebuttal in your mind. Listen to learn.
  2. If it makes someone uncomfortable, don’t talk about it. This goes for anything, not just politics and religion. Not every time is a good time to discuss a particular topic.
  3. Don’t raise your voice. This is a discussion, not a debate.
  4. Don’t try to get a rise out of someone.
  5. Seek to find out what is important to them instead of stopping with party affiliation.
  6. Remember that agreeing to disagree doesn’t make anyone a “winner” or a “loser.” This should be a mature discussion.
  7. Remember they are more than their beliefs on any topic.

Affordable Entertaining

Unfortunately, just like the myth that etiquette is for the elite is perpetuated, the myth that you must serve a seven-course meal anytime you want to have friends over is also perpetuated. I’m here today to help!

Entertaining does not have to be a super formal event, and potlucks are completely acceptable!

Here are my top 5 tips for keeping entertaining inexpensive and affordable.

  1. Cook with eggs – frittatas are beautiful and inexpensive. Bonus – you can use up leftover veggies!
  2. Have a one-pot meal. Soups and casseroles are well known for stretching meat further. They’re also delicious and filling.
  3. If your guests offers to bring dessert, let them. This is most appropriate if you’re having close friends or family over.
  4. Limit choices. If you want to make the evening feel special and have appetizers, limit the appetizers to one or two options. Much less with go to waste. Likewise, don’t feel pressured to have multiple drink options.
  5. Limit the number of guests. This is the one that surprises people the most. However, by limiting the number you invite, you’re not only saving money, but you’re also getting more quality time with those there.
  6. Bonus Tip: Entertain at an off time. Have a coffee or a tea instead of a full meal!

What other tips would you add? Thank you for reading!

Election Etiquette

Today begins early voting for the party primaries. To me it seems like this day has been a long time coming. Each election cycle, candidates begin earlier and earlier with this campaign season, even beginning prior to officially turning in their paperwork. I expect this on the national level. It takes an excessive amount of time to campaign across an entire nation. I’m more surprised when I see this taking place on the local level. Additionally, some forums turn into mud slinging instead of informational sessions, which benefits no one.

I currently serve on our local city council. I’ve been personally attacked. I’ve witnessed personal attacks on others. It needs to stop. Therefore, today’s post is all about election etiquette.

I’m not sure when we first entertained the notion that everyone we encounter is dying to know our position. Let me be the first to say, they’re not. Some of the people I respect the absolute most rarely volunteer information regarding politics. That is not at all implying they’re uninformed or that they don’t care. They volunteer. They donate. They seek to become informed. When asked, they’ll happily state who they support and why. However, at the end of the day, the also understand that some people dig their own graves. By being overly forceful in supporting someone, it is often a turnoff of that candidate to others who may still be in the decision-making phase.

If you feel the need to strongly support a candidate, make sure that you don’t dominate the conversation with only your candidate’s information. Be willing to listen. Be willing to learn. You may very┬álikely stick to the person you were initially supporting. However, you may also learn why someone else doesn’t. When we ask for change simply for the sake of change, you may get what you ask for. By listening, you’re opening up the conversation to dialogue as opposed to a monologue.

This next bit is important to state. Don’t wear candidate-specific items while voting. You will likely be asked to leave if you wear anything supporting a particular candidate to the polls. Make sure you leave the campaigning at home or at least outside of the specified area during early voting and on election day.

Most of all, seek to be an informed voter, and don’t feel pressured to vote a particular way. Listen not only to what people say but how they say it.

There are no perfect candidates. None. However, there are people you will find who are willing to listen and willing to prioritize items that are of utmost importance to you.

If you are a candidate during this election cycle, I wish you luck and peace. Also, know that there are many other ways of contributing aside from obtaining an elected position. If you do not win, please consider this.

Thank y’all for your time!