Today is Election Day in the United States. And like so many others around our great nation, I was not looking forward to voting. Not only was I not looking forward to it, I was dreading it.
On my way to pick up my oldest from school, I gave myself a pep talk. I would vote after I picked him up. At least I would have it over with and have “done my duty.” Then I picked up an energetic kiddo with a smiling face wearing this homemade sticker.
Yes. Cute. You voted. I thought to myself as he excitedly told me about their school-wide election. I listened, happy he had a good day, and pulled into the polling place. I started to tell him about the voting process. But to my surprise, he already knew quite a bit.
My second grader told me about the primary process, our two main presidential parties, and who the candidates running for office were. Not only was I very impressed with what he’d learned in school, but it pulled me out of my woe is me election season funk.
I used to love politics. The history. The process. The opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself. The opportunity to work with my fellow America’s towards making our country a better place. Lately, those feelings have been replaced by ones of sadness, fear, and anger about the direction of national politics.
But listening to an enthusiastic second grader talk about our the election system that has served our country for years, I was reminded that my “duty” goes far beyond casting my ballot. It is about educating the next generation so they are prepared to take this country into the future. It is about living each day in kindness and service. It is respecting the system that is in place that countless American’s have died to protect. It is about being grateful for the freedoms and life we have. Many other countries are not as fortunate.
So, Happy Election Day! Regardless of the outcome, we are still a great nation. Full of hardworking, kind, and generous people. And may you rest comfortably knowing that your salvation is not determined by who wins the White House.