Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Parent and Child
I don't usually post on Wednesday, but promised I would if I had something to say. Well, that time has arrived.
My parents taught much by their example. Every year on election day, we walked to the local elementary school I attended. On the way to the polls, they would discuss the candidates and why they would vote for certain individuals. Dad would tell me when I reached 21 (the voting age at that time) I would be eligible to participate in the voting process.
This ritual continued year after year. It never occurred to me that I wouldn't be a voter. When I turned 21, my parents helped me register. The next time election day rolled around, I exercised my right as a citizen of the United States.
It still shocks me that so many people don't vote. Someone once said to me, "It doesn't matter if I vote or not. It doesn't affect my life." I totally disagree. Elections have been won or lost by a few votes, and winners have the power to pass laws that directly impact our well being.
Whether you are a U.S. citizen or have the right to vote in another country, don't let this opportunity slip away from you.
Writers and Readers: What motivated you to register as a voter? Did the example of your parents influence your decision?
Next week: How I decide who gets my vote.
Posted by Susan J. Reinhardt at 12:30 AM
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I ALWAYS vote, and I pray a lot. Especially this year.
I vote, and yes, I believe my parents have something to do with it. They took pride as they exercised their right to vote.
Great questions. In Australia it's compulsory to vote. Everyone receives an enrollment form in the mail when they turn 18 and the electoral role is also the way jury members are invited for duty in our courts.
Fines are issued after voting day to those who do not turn up, and I've voted while on holiday or away from home.
Your parents shared a wonderful privilege with you, Susan. xx
Hi Jen - I'm with you all the way!
Hi Loree - Our parents teach us many life skills, including good citizenship.
Hi Dotti - I had no idea it was compulsory! Jurors are selected from the motor vehicle records here.
We do have absentee ballots available, but people are not fined if they don't vote.
I think I was motivated originally by my first paycheck and how much I got to keep from my labors. Then I was motivated by duty. Think I learned that from school. Now I vote in every election out of extreme gratitude for those who died for my right to vote.
All excellent points! As we've often heard, freedom isn't free.
What a great example your parents set. It's true that we can feel powerless as one person, but a lot of "ones" add up to millions. :)
I vote now as an adult. I didn't use to, having been raised in a religion that taught us we shouldn't.
My father, who has different opinions on this than his fellow church members, came up with an excellent retort for those who don't vote, but say they will just pray about it.
"The next time you have a frolic (this is like a barn raising, a community workday), I'll just stay home and pray about it."
I think he's pretty smart. :)
Hi Sarah - Many people have learned that when they band together they can accomplish great things.
Hi Rhonda - I'm reminded of the Scripture that says faith without works is dead.
Susan, politics was a big part of the end-of-the-day's discussion when I was growing up. My parents firmly believed that our country would go one way or the other based on the choices we made at the poll.
I've always voted. I think it was my parents' example that influenced me, but I've just always assumed it's part of my responsibilities as a Canadian citizen. There are times when I feel that 'drop in the bucket' thing -- what difference am I making -- but then I remember that each of the thousands of votes that are cast began as one person making the effort to go to their polling station.
Hi Dena - I had the same experience, but it intensified as I matured.
Hi Carol - Many of us wonder how our vote matters, but it's imperative we let our voice be heard. If no one brings an opposing viewpoint, it will be assumed we all agree with the status quo.
I can't think of an election in which my parents didn't vote. Like you, my parents and I walked together to the nearest school and I waited while they cast their votes.
An excellent post, Susan.
Hi Jean -
With today's fast pace, can you even imagine people walking to the polls?
It was a more family-oriented time. I miss those days.
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