Today’s Election Day and, no kidding, this post is designed to implore you to go VOTE! I know, I know, we’re often told not to discuss religion and/or politics at work… I suppose that goes for networking, too, however, as a bit of a rule breaker myself, I was never much good at following the no religion or politics rule! And, here’s the deal: This is not even about politics (or religion, for that matter); this is about letting your voice be heard! It’s about issues. It’s about the responsibility YOU have for knowing what’s going on in your community, in your town, in your state, in your nation. Whatever anybody thinks, voting is your primary opportunity to take a stand for what you believe in – in this country, it’s your beautiful, precious right to do so.
Need more convincing that one person’s voice actually matters? There are two fabulous TED talks I must point out – it will only take you about 22 minutes to watch them both:
- “Of Course It Matters” by Lawrence Lessig. In his compelling and visually delicious talk, Lessig continues his campaign to free US politics from the stranglehold of financial corruption. He outlines an argument based on the premise we have built a Congress dependent on their funders, enabling a tiny fraction of the population to exert undue influence over the government. Lessig reminds us of the Federalist Papers which promised a government “…dependent on the people alone… not the rich more than the poor.” He acknowledges that in today’s world, the average voter has no effect on the government’s decisions. However, he believes our kids will look back years from now and ask the question, HOW COULD THEY HAVE LET THIS HAPPEN? The “they” here is us! As such, his piece is about engagement. From my perspective, he provides a persuasive case that we have a RESPONSIBILITY as CITIZENS to recognize the importance of raising our voices and being part of the solution. I believe exercising one’s right to vote helps us to attain equal citizenship, equal dignity, equality. The video runs 18:19 minutes.
- “How to Start a Movement” by Derek Sivers. This one has nothing to do with politics or campaign finance reform! Instead, this is all about being part of something. Sivers narrates over a video of a crazy, shirtless guy who begins to dance on a crowded park lawn. He points out how the first follower transform this lone nut into a leader. The leader embraces the first follower as an equal. Eventually other people join in… slowly at first, then with more urgency as others clamber to be part of it. I’m say that whether you decide to be a leader, a first follower, an early adopter or join later to simply be part of the in-crowd, be part of it. It doesn’t matter which role you select – I’m urging you to have the courage to be part of the movement. In this case, it means voting and standing up for your beliefs. People may say, “aw, I’m not going to vote, it’s not going to count for anything.” They can say that, but look at the movement one “lone nut” was able to start! This video runs 3:09 minutes.
I always encourage people to read candidates’ platforms and seek other means for informing themselves of the issues before they head for the polls. Here’s a resource: One of my favorite dailies is theSkimm; recently, they put out this very handy guide to the midterm elections. It’s light-hearted, very readable and may help you get a better handle on the issues faced in your neck of the woods.
Today’s the day. Right Now! Go find your Polling Place and cast your VOTE!
If you voted… or if you are committed to doing so today, please leave a comment below saying, “I Voted!”