I didn’t always vote.
For most of my life, I held strong religious convictions that precluded voting. My faith community and I took Jesus’ words that his kingdom was “no part of this world” as a literal command to live for the future, to keep separate. My beliefs have evolved in recent years, and I’ve been playing catch-up in matters of politics, which were once very off-limits. Where I once felt a commitment a small group of people and a far-off future, now my focused has broadened to include an appreciation for the whole human family and the present we share.
Now I’m getting ready to cast my very first ballot for president. I can’t tell you how happy I am to have this say. I’ve spent months reading up on the candidates for everything from the presidency to the local school board election. I’ve listened to candidates and supporters speak about their positions, read editorials, and followed various news sources. Some of the decisions were easy; some were much more difficult.
Frankly, it’s hard to feel like I have enough information to choose in some of these cases. I suppose I could continue abstaining with the knowledge that there is no perfect candidate or that my vote might not make a big difference. But it’s more than that. This is my country, my state, my city, my school district. This is my chance to say I am a part of that.
My vote is about more than any of the names on the ballot. It means I am living fully in the present and participating in creating a future for all of us.
Read more #blogthevote stories from kidlit bloggers at Chasing Ray. Please share your reasons for voting with your network.