May 202010

It’s time for my company’s annual shareholder’s meeting and time to vote on company proposals. I got the letter in the mail giving me instructions on where to look up what we’d be voting on, and I requested a paper copy. My husband said I was crazy to bother. My company is a multi-billion dollar corporation with thousands, or more likely millions of shareholders; I only have a couple of shares. It’s pointless to vote, he says.

How many times have we heard this about voting in general? I agree; one vote in millions isn’t anything numerically. And I don’t hold to Kant, who would ask (and I’m way paraphrasing and not doing his philosophy justice), “What if nobody voted?” That’s not a good way to make decisions.

But I still believe in the importance of placing my vote. It’s not necessarily getting my voice heard, because I’m not the type to shout over so many voices (says the blogger, right). It’s about having a voice in the first place.

I’m blessed to be as young as I am. I haven’t been around long enough to fight for the right to vote. And to be honest, I take that for granted. I live in a country that lets me have a voice and encourages me to use it, even if I’m only one in millions.

Voting lets me help my people, if only in a small way. It is my right as an American, and I’ve made it my duty and responsibility as well. Educating myself about who I want to represent my people, the laws that will be going into effect, and then working to make that decision is a duty.

America has an amazing lack of censorship. Yeah, it’s not perfect. We’re working on that. But here I am, low-wage worker woman, and I can access enough information about what my government is doing. I can sit down here and write “That’s awesome” or “That’s crap” all I want and the worst I’ll get is some nasty comments on my opinion. I am mostly free to express myself however I want.

Placing that vote is important to me personally. I only kind of understand the folks who don’t want to vote. Some of it is laziness (I love my husband, but he’s guilty of this one!), some of it is refusing to partake in an imperfect system. And I’m not telling you that you should change any of those reasons why you don’t vote, if that’s your choice.

But for me, it’s my duty to my people and my country to vote. It’s my duty to honor what my ancestors fought for the right to do. And it’s my duty to myself to express my voice.