The Most Important Thing I’ll Do This Year

My BFF Votes! Does yours? Register to vote & find your polling place today.

ISIS, the war in Gaza, unaccompanied children at the border, and other global and local issues have been weighing heavily on my heart and mind. Hoping to help lift the storm cloud, I asked a friend if he thought it was our responsibility to directly help people around the world.

I was speechless and surprised when he quickly responded with a simple “yes.” My friend was a very kind and compassionate person, but in his day to day life he was not politically active or involved in any charitable organizations. I was counting on him to help me rationalize why it’s ok to focus on my immediate family and personal priorities and worry a little bit less about all of the horrors happening the world.

Don’t get me wrong. I truly wanted a way to make a difference, but I could not decide which issue to prioritize or how to actually make an impact while on a tight budget and a toddler’s schedule. I struggled with my desire to make a {very big} impact on the world, while also wanting to focus on my family and pursuing other dreams. I felt like it was my responsibility to bare witness and take action to stop atrocities from occurring in the world, but there were so many atrocities that I quickly got overwhelmed. I wanted to make it possible for everyone to thrive and pursue their own dreams in peace, but I also feared giving up mine in the process.

My friend didn’t seem to share these concerns, and appeared to be content spending his days doing his best to be an excellent father, husband, son, brother, friend, and worker. So I was surprised to learn he felt like all of the the world’s problems were his responsibility, too. I was even more blown away when I asked him to elaborate.

He said that if our representatives hadn’t voted to support further attacks on ISIS, that he would have voted against them in the coming election.

Whoa.

My friend’s response and insight made the importance of voting suddenly feel very real.

My BFF votes! Does yours? #vote
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Yes, I learned about the democratic process and what it meant to be a republic a long time ago. I even worked for a major lobbying organization, where I engaged college students across the country to register to vote. Nonetheless, I’ve always felt like I needed to be deeply involved in the political process to really make a difference. While it was easy to get involved, it was extremely time consuming. Time was not something I had to spare.

My friend looked at the same conundrum, and saw his vote as a way to empower our legislators to act on his behalf to make the world a better place. By voting, he was directly impacting the world… through his elected officials.

When we vote, we impact how our government makes decisions. Our representatives are in office to represent us, so that we have the opportunity to spend our days focused on our families, our jobs, and our communities.

Yes, I still need to be an informed, vocal citizen and an educated voter. I need to hold my politicians accountable for their acts once they are in office. I need to communicate with my representatives and executives what issues are important to me. This entire process begins with my vote.

I used to think of voting as the smallest act of political involvement. A gateway activity to greater participation. My friend’s simple “yes” helped show me that voting was actually the most important part of the political process.

What does voting mean to you?

Register to vote, find your polling place, and preview your ballot with vote411.org.

Register to vote, find your polling place & see your ballot with @VOTE411
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3 thoughts on “The Most Important Thing I’ll Do This Year

  1. Leilani

    This post is a great reminder to WHY we vote. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like watching the news because it’s too sad and frustrating. I get too upset about things I see and hear and it takes away from my happiness and the way I am with my children. So I don’t usually watch the news and I DON’T make it a point to keep myself informed on all the bad stuff. But I do try to stay educated on who’s running for what and what their policies are. Because I think your friend is so right. We may feel like there is NOTHING we can do that will make any difference. But that’s not true. Because we can vote. Thanks for sharing this!
    Leilani recently posted…You might be a Mommy-criteMy Profile

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  2. [email protected]

    Great post and thanks for sharing a link to my article!

    It is so important that e vote and when we do that we make an educated vote. I cannot handle when people tell me they just randomly filled in the bubbles, that’s terrible!
    [email protected] recently posted…Become A Mom Media Contributor ExtraordinaireMy Profile

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