Today is Election Day in the United States, and yet today, many people will not vote. They may have been discouraged by the perceived lack of influence behind their vote in the past; like some of the recent voters in Scotland, what they wanted differed from what happened, their voice drowned out in a chorus of opposition. Or they may feel like they’re too busy to go out to a polling place and cast their vote, their daily itinerary already gorged with activities.
And I understand. Living in Washington State, we have it easier, because we get to fill our ballots out ahead of time. All we have to do is deposit them into designated ballot boxes, though we can also mail them. But, being on the conservative side, my vote often seems to get choked out, particularly if the issue is state-wide and voters from King County are being polled. (For some reason, Seattle proper and its surrounding suburbs have a great many people who seem to see things differently than I do.)
But I still vote. My vote is just one voice, but it is a voice, and, in the past, women fought hard overcome the enforced silence—the lack of legal right to vote—enduring criticism and scorn and sometimes physical hardship as the result. A little inconvenience on my part is all I have to pay.
And even if the election doesn’t go my way, I’ll still have done my part. I’ll have stated my convictions on paper, for the record. I will not allow my silence to be my abdication, giving up the privilege of choice to someone else.
I may feel like a modern-day Abdiel (Paradise Lost), one voice of reason and truth among a sea of apostasy, but at least I won’t let the sea go unchallenged. (And usually, the opposing voters do not deserve to be compared to Lucifer). 🙂
“Few sometimes know, when thousands err,” Abdiel said, and if we know, or even think we know, or have any opinion whatsoever, we cannot keep quiet, folding our hands and going about our lives and giving up all chance of change because it seemed unlikely to make a difference.
An election is like placing rocks on a scale. Each of us have only a pebble, but one pebble will tip the balance, at some point. If none of us bother, the scale won’t go anywhere.
Copyright 2014 Andrea Lundgren