The votes we cast

Without question–in the United States at least–tomorrow is a huge day. The votes that are cast will set the tone for the level of discourse that will predominate for the next several years. The fundamental direction on key policies, and important things like the selection of Supreme Court Justices, will be solidified.

Many have argued that Presidents don’t really matter that much anyway. And that may well be true. Regardless, it’s almost certainly the case that even if the electorate does something truly idiotic most of us are likely to remain largely unaffected.

Nevertheless we work ourselves into a frenzy about the candidate we despise.

We vilify friends and colleagues who extol the virtues of the other guy (or gal).

We mock those who are “throwing away” their vote on a third party candidates.

And, in the greatest exercise of futility, we use social media as a weapon of persuasion.

Sidebar newsflash: More people have gone from being dog people to cat people because of something they have seen on Facebook than have been convinced to change their opinion on Trump or Clinton by anything you or I have shared.

What’s most interesting–and ultimately disturbing and disappointing–is that many of us will spend far more time, energy and social capital ruminating on an election that will likely not matter and on arguments that will make not a whit of difference than we will on the moment-to-moment decisions that clearly count and that we have a direct ability to influence.

We vote every day on being generous or stingy, kind or cruel, compassionate or indifferent.

We can embrace a world of possibilities or wall ourselves off in fear.

We can opt for acceptance or battle endlessly with reality.

We can choose a cycle of forgiveness or go down the path of revenge.

We have many opportunities everyday to decide which wolf to feed.

And here, without a doubt, our vote matters.

 

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h/t to the Rev. Dr. Daniel Kanter for his sermon that inspired this post.

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