It’s hard to hear people casually admit that they will not vote in this year’s monumental presidential election. It’s even harder to listen as to why. Blanket statements such as, I don’t like politics or I don’t like so-and-so, seem to be their core reasoning. In these instances, I can’t help but to reflect on my days supervising the school cafeteria.
I am reminded of the student at lunchtime who refused to eat because he didn’t “like” his lunch options. Although he had choices, homemade lunch or the cafeteria, he convinced himself that there was no alternative. Since he couldn’t get exactly what he wanted, he chose to starve. There was no one to blame but himself for the outcome of his unproductive and irritable day. Had he decided to eat that day, it may not have been his favorite meal, but it would have resulted in a more positive outcome.
The lesson here is please don’t be the kid who starves in vain. Yes, the 2016 presidential candidates may not be appetizing to your soul. Unfortunately, the only statement you will make by not voting is that you don’t care. But if you do care about great schools, fair laws, safe neighborhoods, the environment and your civil rights, you will vote. Ignore the media circus and focus on the candidates. Examine their experience, proposed policies and overall views on issues that affect not only you, but also the well-being of our nation. It’s careless to rest a task that would directly affect you and your family on the shoulders of others. Voting is not only your right, but also your responsibility.
In the words of Gandhi, someone who refused to eat for all the right reasons, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Vote.