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by Joan Bachman
I’ll get this posted before election results are in while my perspective remains hopeful that this Country can practice our foundation: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” (Preamble to our Constitution.)

We have had much fodder for decision-making for this Election Day – actually too much, too often, with too little useful substance. I’ve experienced fear, hope, anger, despair while working on my decisions for the candidates and the measures that are presented. I voted early. Just had to get my decisions on paper. Now that I’ve made and recorded my decisions, I can relax and ignore campaign noise and printed word. Feels good for a couple of days.

It has been heartening to hear reports of high voter interest across the nation. Hopefully, the intensity of citizen interest will continue with acceptance of the outcomes and nonviolent action as we move into a productive future. We each have a responsibility to follow-up the election with continued pursuits to move forward.

The tough thing about making any decision is living with the consequences. We all make many decisions every day, most are minor with short-lived consequences – what’s for breakfast? should I drive Main Avenue or the Interstate? shop today or tomorrow? Major decisions are more difficult to make because the consequences are longer lasting – should I buy a new car or replace the patio? should I accept this or that job offer? People sometimes intentionally fail to make major decisions, avoiding proactive movement while waiting to see what will happen. Whether the decision-making is personal or with/for a group, the process requires study and courage. The fact of making a decision is liberating, whether or not the desired outcome happens. At least there is a certain place to start from.

I recently attended an event for a recovery-based organization that is successful because its leaders support each individual’s personal decision to move from a life of addiction and crime to sobriety and productivity. The making of such a major decision is difficult and the follow-up requires constant commitment to realize the goal. Deciding to change lifestyle is one of the most major and difficult decisions anyone can make. (have you tried to lose 20 pounds?) The consequences usually extend far beyond the individual, even into quality of life for the community. Although this decision can be made and implemented by only the individual, close outside support is often essential to maintain resolve to carry through to long term success of overcoming the addiction and learning new life skills. Thankfully there are individuals and groups willing to hold decision-makers accountable.

For any decision, the Serenity Prayer is helpful: God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.

About the Author

Joan Bachman

Joan Bachman is a Registered Nurse, Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, Registered Health Information Technician, and Faith Community Nurse. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Joan has experience as a Nurse, Administrator, Developer, Trainer, Grant Writer, and served as Administrator of SD State Survey Agency. She has consulted with health care facilities and nonprofit organizations and presented leadership training. Joan is the author of Guidebook for Assisted Living Facilities and Senior Service Providers and Guidebook for Physician Services in the Nursing Facility, and she has published in professional journals.


Linda M. Hasselstrom

What an excellent time to remind us of the Serenity Prayer, especially since I am reading this several days after the election. I used to have a copy posted in my office and I believe I will do so again. Thank you, Joan.

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