Sun, Dec 02, 2018 - Page 6 News List

How to cope after the nine-in-one elections

By Lee Kun-hua 李昆樺

Nov. 24 was a tense day for many, as they went to vote in the local elections and then watched as the votes were counted. How do you feel now that it is all over? Are you happy that your preferred candidates were elected, or downcast and crying for ones who lost?

Taiwan’s elections show that it is a democracy where people can use their ballots to choose the candidates they most agree with, but in every election some people end up happy and some sad.

While some are celebrating, there must be many who feel frustrated, because the candidates they supported lost or because policies they hoped would be implemented will not move forward.

Let me suggest four “dos” and two “do nots” for everyone’s physical and mental well-being — to help cheer up anyone who is disappointed.

First, do accept your feelings of loss instead of trying to suppress them. By sensing your breath as you breathe in and out, you can gradually come to terms with your sense of disappointment.

Second, do give yourself some peace and quiet. Campaigning is over, so there is no need to keep following the drama.

Let yourself calm down a bit. Watching the campaigns and supporting you favorite candidates can be quite tiring, so why not have a nice hot bath, a cup of hot tea and spend some time alone with yourself?

Third, do get back to your regular life. During the election period, your tension and excitement might not have left much energy for thinking about work, so some tasks might not have progressed as they should.

Now that the elections are over, we can resume our regular lives.

Fourth, do have faith that Taiwan is a country where the rule of law prevails. Once elected, candidates become servants of the state who make contributions and ensure that things are done for the public and the nation in accordance with the law.

Ballots are an important expression of the public will, so we can keep an eye on elected public servants and support or oppose them as and when necessary.

Do not keep talking about the elections now that they are over. Everyone needs to get on with their lives, so focus on the present instead of talking about the campaigns of the past. There is no need to keep watching political talk shows or let them control you.

Do not criticize each another. It is fine to be happy when your favorite candidate is voted in, but please bear in mind that while the minority must give way to the majority, the majority should also respect the minority.

Do not kick a person when they are down by criticizing friends whose candidates failed to be elected, because that will only cause more confrontation and it will not take the country forward. It is better to congratulate and encourage one another. By supporting each other, we can make Taiwan a better place.

Finally, let us hope that candidates, no matter whether they won or lost, and members of the public, no matter whether they are happy and excited or so disappointed that they want to move somewhere else, can stay healthy in mind and body, keep monitoring and encouraging their candidates, and keep striving to contribute to the country’s progress.

Congratulations, Taiwan. Tomorrow will be even better than today. Let us all work together to make it happen.

Lee Kun-hua is an assistant professor in National Tsing Hua University’s Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling.

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