Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Elections Reflections

National elections of any kind - even mid-term - bring forth memories of elections past. 

First of all, the Suffragettes. Amazing women who decided “the weaker sex” had the brains to vote and made it happen. Men didn’t like the idea of course and so these women were beaten, jailed, force-fed and totally degraded in so many ways and still they fought and marched and changed who could have a say in government. Remembering them, I vote. 

Second, Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the first free election in South Africa. In all his red, royal regalia, he stood in line, marked his ballot, carried it to the ballot box, slipped it half way in, brought it out and with that delightful twinkle in his eye, he danced! He put the ballot in, he brought the ballot out, and all the time he danced . . . and laughed . . . and danced. There was no apathy in him that day. Because he could vote, he danced! Remembering him, I vote. 

Third, my own daughter, Meredith. She was 18. She could vote for the very first time and it was a Presidential election. She had watched her parents vote for years. She had heard family discussions of issues and of the privilege of voting. She had done her homework and was ready. And she was sick. So sick I had to help her walk from her bed to the bathroom. I went to vote at the school up the street where one of our good friends from the college was always a poll worker. He asked about us and I told him how disappointed Meredith was. “Can you get her here?” Yes, but there is no way she can stand up much less stand in line. “Bring her. I will meet you at the car with a ballot.” And so I did, he did, and she voted. Remembering them, I vote. 

You have election memories of your own. What helps you to the polls no matter how ugly the campaign, no matter how much you dislike all the candidates, no matter what the weather? What stories make you realize that voting is a right and a privilege that you dare not give up even for one day? Whether you share them here or just remember them on your own, think about them. Be glad you voted yesterday ~ and if you didn’t vote yesterday, promise yourself that you will in two years. It is worth it. 

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