A Week’s Worth of Journaling Prompts: Your Political Views 1

TODAY is the Presidents’ Day Holiday here in the United States, originally intended as a day to honor the birthday of our first president, George Washington, but now thought of as a day to honor all U.S. presidents. The truth is that most of us give little thought to its political origins and are simply happy to enjoy a three or four-day weekend when we can.

Whenever I read the news, I think a lot about our diverse and often polarized political views, their underlying belief systems, and how we are or are not politically engaged. For instance many of us experience a pessimistic apathy about politics in general, while others of us are fervently engaged in various political activities that we hope will make a positive difference in the world (no matter what side of what fence we’re on).

This week’s worth of journaling prompts invites you to explore your own view of politics, and to take a deeper look at how you got there.

  1. The word “politics is defined as: “activities associated with the governance of a country or other area,” and “activities within an organization that are aimed at improving someone’s status or position and are typically considered to be devious or divisive.” What do you think of when you hear the word politics, and why?
  2. Free-write for ten minutes about the opposite of politics. Then, consider the question: What do politics and its opposite have in common?
  3. Do you consider yourself to be a politically engaged individual? In what ways (yes or no)? And what factors contribute to your level of activity?
  4. When you read or watch the news, what is your general emotional response, and how do you deal with that response? For example, if you feel frustrated, write about how you express or repress that frustration; if you feel hopeful, how do you express that hopefulness or not? And if you don’t read or watch the news, write about why you’ve chosen not to do so and how you feel your decision benefits you.
  5. If you could change anything at all about politics — the process of governance — what would it be, and what kinds of effects would that change make to the world?
  6. Would you march in demonstrations for human and civil rights you believe are important? If so, if you thought your life could be threatened as a result (military action, etc.), would you still march? If yes, write about why you feel your sacrifice might be important. If you would not march, how do you think you would you respond to a loss of rights that you hold dear?
  7. Make a list of at least ten civil and human rights that you think are important. Looking at the list write about some of your beliefs (religious, spiritual, philosophical, social, and economic) that lie at the root of your list. Play devil’s advocate with yourself — write a conversation in which your argue with yourself about the validity of one or more of these underlying beliefs. What did you learn about yourself in this process?


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One thought on “A Week’s Worth of Journaling Prompts: Your Political Views

  • Linda Sievers

    Challenging exercise, Amber! I have been at different points in my life a Republican or a Democrat yet never able to be in full agreement with either party. I do not believe that we should confuse, congest, or further corrupt our government wheels with a third party. I believe that there must be far more “crossing the ailes” by our politicians motivated by asking what our country is “for” rather than railing at each other over what they are “against.” As a people, I believe we must ask this same question and responsibly find ways to meet our challnges of sustaining our country and our planet before it is too late. I believe we must DEMAND more from our leaders, while we must also be proactive as a people working together to find solutions for the issues we face. This will be hard work, transformative, and definitely not for sissies.