This has been the most exciting election of my life. I have never felt more passionate about a person running for President or some of the issues at stake on the ballot, you know, like basic equal rights. I feel there is a need for a more hopeful, well thought change/direction/leadership in this country and I believe with all my heart that Barack Obama can move the country in this direction. He inspires me to be a better American. I am tired of feeling like my vote doesn't count when I cast it. I am tired of feeling cynical about the politics of America and certain leaders greedy agendas. I am also tired of the politics of fear and the campaign tactics that incite people to vote in a certain direction due to playing to those fears. It makes me sad when people let such tactics determine their vote rather than their own minds with thoughtful consideration of the facts. This will always be the case, I guess, unless there is a big shift in the consciousness of the voting people. Maybe we should try and put more money into the educational system and, instead of teaching by rote, teach children to think for themselves. Scary...a country of people that think for themselves. That really doesn't make for a docile population to govern. It is your own mind to exercise, not any institution or affiliation. USE it! In the words of the United Negro College Fund, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste".
With that being said, I am still very grateful that I live in a country where I am able to vote and be a part of the process. There was a buzz in the air at my polling place. It was the first time I have ever stood in line to vote. (Only a half hour. Not bad at all. If I had to stand 6 hours I would have.) There was an extra precinct voting there too. Everyone was very excited about today from the volunteer workers to the voters. Even a couple of dogs were running around the hall and making the rounds sniffing out voters. They expressed no political opinions but were interesting in the volunteer snack table and scratches behind the ears.
My sample ballot was prepped and at the ready when I enter the booth to vote. I took a deep breath and very carefully made my votes. On certain votes I put extra energy, love and care into my casting. It can't hurt, right? I checked my work. I was always that kind of student and cast my ballot.
If you haven't already, get out there, vote, and take part of this amazing election.
Whatever world we wake up to on Wednesday, may we all find peace and the willingness to work to that end.
The mind is international and supra-national ... it ought to serve not war and annihilation, but peace and reconciliation.
HERMANN HESSE, letter read at Nobel banquet, Dec. 10, 1946