Northern Expressions

Northern Expressions: On Democracy

Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

“Democracy is the worst form of government… except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” – Winston Churchill

He’s right, you know. Democracy is horrible, unpredictable and wonderful. At the end of it all, we celebrate our right to vote. We celebrate the freedom the people have to choose a leader.

Also, on Veteran’s Day, we celebrate those people that have made that freedom possible. It’s worth the fight and I thank you. Sincerely.

Lessons for my Children

Along with that democracy comes the expectation to listen. We vote for people to represent us. We like to throw around the phrase “Every Vote Counts” and then ignore people outside of ballot numbers. A few things I hope to teach my children emerging from this election:

  • If someone expresses that they feel unsafe or scared, our first response should NEVER be “get over it” or “you’re making a big deal about nothing.” Our first response should be “how can I help?” or “You’re safe with me.” Maybe we’ve never felt threatened. That doesn’t make their threat any less real. (I will be wearing a safety pin to represent this. Maybe it will mean nothing. Maybe it will comfort one person feeling alone. I’m going to take that chance.)
  • Stories need to be told. If I only listen to the group of people with a very similar background or ideology, I learn nothing new. You wouldn’t come up to Alaska and just know how to mush dogs or dipnet. You would learn from a local. Everyone has knowledge and talents that we don’t. We can learn from them. More voices = more knowledge.
  • Humans relate best based on human need. We spend too much of our interactions arguing about things like politics where we struggle to find common ground. Can we hug? Everyone needs that. Can we share a meal? Everyone needs that. Can we play a game with a kid? Every kid needs that. Can we be kind? Every heart speaks kindness.
  • My son needs to be a champion for women in this world and know what toxic language exists and how to change it. And my daughters need to know that they are strong and capable and fierce and that’s not only okay, it’s wonderful. They can stand up for themselves and be a voice in this world. They may need to shout a bit louder, but they shouldn’t stop trying to shout.

On Wednesday, I sent my kids to school with a charge to be extra nice. I give that same charge to you grown-ups. It’s okay to hurt. I’m here. No one should apologize for how they feel. We should just try to be aware. Before you speak, listen. Before you judge, hug.

You people are the best people. I know it. I’ve read your comments of encouragement and love. The world needs that now (no matter what your political views). The world needs your goodness.

Go, friends. Be the light.

Love, Maggie



Perfect Gets in the Way of Good: Finances Edition


On Kindness


  1. To everyone who has said their vote didn’t matter or the election doesn’t actually matter, I cannot believe what a tremendous insult that is to our country. It’s been heavily on my mind, especially with Veterans Day today. These people risked and sometimes gave everything to protect our country. It absolutely matters.

    And you’re right. Being kind and listening is always the charge. Especially now, but always.

    • MaggieBanks

      I completely agree with you. Hate and anger are never okay under any circumstance. We owe those veterans more!

  2. Again, similar conversations happening at our house…

    Her: What can we do about this?
    Me: Listen. Talk to the people with differing opinions and listen to why. Ask how we can help.

    It’s easy to get upset and think about running away from it all but in the end that doesn’t help anyone.

    I hadn’t heard about the safety pin but I’m pulling it up now.

    • MaggieBanks

      These are great conversations. Re: Safety Pin… Patrick Stewart just tweeted himself wearing one this morning. If I wasn’t on board before, I def am now. 🙂

  3. Kim from Philadelphia

    Beautiful, Maggie!

  4. Well said Maggie. Many of us need this talk and guidance. I took a walk today through a local cemetery and wondered what those who have passed would make of our world today. I have a feeling they would have said many of the things you said. But we still need reminding. Thanks for that. Enjoy the weekend.

  5. Maggie: Best. Post-Election. Article. I’ve. Read.

  6. I was talking to my wife the other day and we were talking about how thankful we were that our Facebook feed had people that were happy with the election and also people that weren’t quite as thrilled.

    The last thing that we want is to have blind spots so we both enjoy hearing different perspectives from others that challenge the way we view things. Thanks for the awesome article like usual.

    • MaggieBanks

      It’s always good to be open minded enough to have a conversation about things from all sides. It’s said if you can’t argue the other side as convincingly as you can argue your side, you’re not ready to debate. I admit on some things, I’m not ready to debate… 🙂 But I love the idea of that!

  7. I have similar conversations with our oldest and our youngest (boy and girl). While I don’t feel represented by the guy who got elected it’s like we told our oldest when he was joking with us he voted for Trump (He’s only 5 btw). “That’s fine if you vote for someone you want to vote for, because that’s what our country is about. Having the freedom to do what you want. We may not agree with it, but you have the freedom to choose who you want.”

    There have been some interesting conversations with him in our house lately, and they pretty much center around all the things you pointed out above. Well written!

    • MaggieBanks

      It always restores my faith in humanity to remember that good people all over are having these conversations with their children and one day, they will all be the ones in charge and we’ll see how well our generation has taught the younger ones… I hope well!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén