By: Matt Gordon
There is a vote on. Have you heard about? This guy Donald Trump is fighting for another term as president against this other fellow named Joe Biden. But I bet you already know about this. There have been debates and advertisements and sloganeering. Along with lies and passionate social media posts, some quite helpful and others rife with misinformation and fallacy. You likely know all that too.
But for all we know about this election, it uncannily reveals how very blind we are about the vote. Not the vote on November 3rd or whenever the pandemic has suggested you cast your ballot. What we are short-sighted about, and what this election has dramatically highlighted, is how careless we are about the plethora of other things on which we daily vote.
A vote is a decision between a few things; it is a choosing. For the election, we read and study and argue and dismantle and wrestle—it is a rigorous season. I spoke with a fellow yesterday who said he wishes he could fast-forward a few months and get away from this political season. And while a fast forward button may propel us from this election (thank goodness), it cannot move us away from choices—ones we treat with far less concern and diligence than this political decision.
To a degree I get this. The presidency is a big deal. Leader of the free world. Opportunity to have a four year impact that reaches far beyond that. And on and on. That is commendably pragmatic thinking. But, again, I think it is so focused on the thing on down the road that it misses all the impactful opportunities all about us. It is a thought so focused on the possible rainbow in the distance that it misses the beauty of the beloved right beside us.
I will vote on November 3rd, but I make mini-votes of greater personal importance every single day. I vote on how I will treat my neighbor. Will I have a cold indifference toward him? Will I ignore him, off on my way to the next big political rally? Or will I grab a rake and take care of his leaves?
I vote in how I treat my spouse. Do I elect to come home when I say I will? Am I patient? Am I kind? Apparently, love is. So do I choose love?
I vote in all manner of gray areas—issues for which I am permitted to be the lone voter. How I treat and spend money? Who I choose to hang out with? What I put on television and take into my being in HD? What I read? If I believe I have a soul, a calling, a purpose? Is there a God, and does He have an impact on my life? What I’ll have for lunch? Will I exercise today?
These are all decisive votes. And there are so many others. But I don’t read about them. I don’t study them. I don’t hold them up to the light or bend them to test their durability. Nope, I fixate on the opportunity to vote in an election which will in some ways impact how I live, but I abstain from thousands of opportunities to write-in who I will be. I am content to choose one day every four years between two characters I don’t know, rather than spending a few minutes each day deciding the character of who I know best—or at least who I’m supposed to know best.
The next few days will be steady with reminders about voting. This, I hope, is another one, about a daily election that truly has the ability to change the very world. At least yours.
In this way, more than any other, I hope we vote, you and me both.