On the eve of election day, I asked a friend of mine if he had voted already. For some reason, I knew what his answer would be. Something inside me said that he was going to opt out of going to the polls at all.
He didn’t see “any God-like qualities in either candidate,” so he chose to abstain. He told me this with such conviction, admitting that he is absolutely powerless against people places and things, so he wasn’t even going to cast a ballot.
I sure didn’t agree with staying home from exercising my constitutional right, but I admired his tenacity for standing up for his beliefs. And his right not to vote. He then went to mention a section of the Bible that previews dark days before the second coming of Jesus.
Maybe we’re on our way? Or maybe things have been dark for some time. Just turn on the news or your favorite social media network to see the racism, inequality, poverty and hate pouring out of people.
My friend wasn’t alone. Only 51-52 percent of registered voters turned out in this recent election. Maybe they too were handing it over to God?
I do know that this friend of mine is one of the most generous, caring and self-less individuals I know. He teaches music to kids and volunteers countless hours in service to others.
I’m so torn. It’s not the fabric of my upbringing to not participate in an election. I want to raise my kids with the idea that they can make a difference. That getting active in democracy will contribute to the greater good, but how do I do that when I don’t see it from the election results. How is building a wall contributing to the greater good of humanity?
We don’t need a physical wall to keep U.S. from its neighbors to the south. We have enough invisible walls shielding us from neighbors and potential friends. Whether you voted or not, we can demonstrate kindness to our children, so they can build the relationships of our future, not tear them down.
My neighbor across the street is a very quite man. His wife is disable and his two adult children live in the home, too. He took me by surprise the other day as I was playing with my son when he asked, “Before you throw out your pumpkins, can you save the stems for me?”
I did a double take and asked him to repeat himself. Turns out his wife does crafts, making ornamental pumpkins of some sort, and he asked us to save the stems for his wife. So I involved my son in giving the stems to him. It’s a small act, but my four-year old and I crossed the street together and brought the stems to their house.
I don’t care about his political beliefs. I don’t care who he voted for. I just know that my children remember these small steps of action. Joy was spilling from my son to visit their house and deliver the pumpkins stems.
And hopefully, someday my kids can stand with tenacity for what they believe in to break down walls, either physical or invisible to help their community.