If you haven’t yet voted, read this.
I was thinking about you this morning.
I was thinking about you, and me and our potential. I was thinking about how it seems that we are at such a standstill when really, I know that we yearn for so many of the same things.
What keeps us separate? So many possible answers to this question—but I believe that our separation is due primarily to misunderstandings, misinformation, manipulation, disillusionment and perhaps the most important—fear.
I believe that it is fear that keeps us separate. Fear of each other, fear for our families, our livelihood, our safety. And I ask you this: when has fear ever brought you to the place you want to be? Where fear rules, does anyone win?
I became pretty disillusioned this past year. I began to feel that all politics were a sham and this system was broken and corrupt beyond repair. From there, it is only a short step to questioning participation in the system at all. It wasn’t long before I was angry as well. So very angry.
Angry that the freaking world is on fire and people are more interested in celebrity culture than addressing issues that threaten our survival.
Yet somewhere inside of me hope remained. Somehow, the flame of hope had not guttered out completely. I still hoped that we would grow up, make responsible choices, and take care of each other as well as the earth. I still hoped that we would think of future generations and the legacy our choices would result in.
Rather than not participate in this election, I decided to become as informed as possible about the candidates—all the candidates, not just the ones registered to my party. As well, I did my best to learn about the candidates for the nonpartisan offices: Clerk of Court, Court of Appeals, Soil & Water Supervisor.
I decided to fully participate in the system, to the best of my ability, no holds barred. I decided to vote my hopes, not my fears. And, as it turns out, I will be voting primarily Democratic but there are two Republicans that have the endorsement of the Sierra Club and that matters to me. So they will get my vote as well.
So get out there, talk to your neighbors, and visit the party headquarters for both parties. Decide what matters most to you and let that guide you in your choices.
If, for example, a strong and adequately compensated elementary education system is your burning hope—let that guide your choices rather than party ideology. You can’t go wrong if you vote what is in your heart.
Win or lose, that’s what we need to do. Vote for what you hope for, not what you fear.
Don’t worry about the party affiliation as much as what the candidate has done and hopes to do. Look at who is supporting the candidate. And vote for your wildest dreams, your heart dreams, and your hopes.
This is the way we create a just and beautiful world to live in together.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Sierra Hollister
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: John Keane/Flickr