- You’re not going to vote to place business-suited people among other business-suited people
- Most of us know what we want – it’s how we’re going to get it that usually makes the whole ordeal tricker
- Of course, your views matter… about as much as everybody else’s
Yes, you still have to do it. Face it. Most of the decisions you routinely make don’t carry that much overall significance and yet you’re still particular about getting pancakes over waffles, bagels over donuts, Pepsi over Cola.
Why do you do it in the first place? Simple – it makes you feel good. And if the choices you make within your familiar microcosm bring you comfort, perhaps more times than you’d like to admit, why wouldn’t you extend that to your level of engagement with what’s immediately outside your sphere of everyday experiences?
Lack of knowledge? Which has made you deem yourself unfit for such a job?
Too much knowledge? Which has paralyzed you into skepticism?
Feeling too little to take on giants?
Or too much of a giant to gain anything from squinting down at the little?
Here’s the thing – you’ll have a lifetime to shift your mind around puzzles such as these. No checklist will be handed over to you to mark down the intellectual woes you’ve managed to resolve until the time has come to express your support for a candidate.
Although that’d certainly make for a never-before-seen political ecosystem.
To be continued in the comic book version.
Think before you vote… and before you don’t
They say you should think before you vote, but it’s just as significant, if not more, to think before you don’t vote. It’s not fair to let others decide what sets of values and beliefs you are to subscribe to for a given period. Not for them, nor for you.
As long as you live in a community, the responsibility for the well-being of said community is indisputably shared. Sure, some can do more than others but no one is exempt.
Exercising your right to vote is just an extension of that responsibility you owe to your community. You’re not going to vote to place business-suited people among other business-suited people, although watching too much TV might have surely left that impression on some individuals.
You’re going to vote so that the chatty neighbor down the street can talk to you about something other than how worried they are for their children to grow up in their own country.
You’re going to vote so that you acknowledge and honor the loss that paid for you to be able to have a say that counts in an election.
You’re going to vote so that you’re on the right side of history and on the frontlines of the future that is being built with or without you.
Becoming a conscious voter
Whether you’re a first time voter or someone that has learned a few lessons since the last time they had the chance to stand up for their particular views within the context of a referendum, here are the top 3 behaviors to guide you in supporting the stance most representative of you and your community.
1. Look to you to look to them
Most of the time, most of us know what we want. It’s how we’re going to get it that usually makes the whole ordeal tricker. As anyone who’s ever tried accomplishing anything, you’d know by now that it is precisely this how that leads the prototype to completion.
Depending on the magnitude of the project you’re set on carrying out, you’ve certainly had the chance to assess that sometimes you can do it on your own, other times a few extra pairs of hands are needed.
Think of going to vote as your chance to take on your most ambitious hows.
Has it become clear yet that voting is every bit of your business too? The larger number of humans have similar goals regarding the well-being of our society, so comparing your personal goals with the ones expressed by a candidate isn’t going to set anyone apart. What you can do instead is examine how they plan to pursue their objectives. Whoever sounds more like your internal voice in their approach, regardless of gender, color, or age, that’s your best political avatar.
2. Check out (all) the resources
The more diverse, the better. You can always go the route of picking a candidate for their bright smile, televised smack-downs or trendy online persona, but unless you are those things too, you aren’t doing yourself any favors.
Give a fair chance to all the sides.
Don’t change the channel after one candidate has finished their speech. Stick around and watch them interact. Whatever tricks you catch onto while following political quarrels on your screen, you can reflect on when confronted with a resembling situation in your day to day life. Having seen others successfully landing their arguments increases your chances of mirroring that.
Media is the devil only when you consume it mindlessly. Even if we live in the age of incomplete information, the fact remains that in comparison with other periods in human history, the odds for you to be an educated voter are in your favor more than they have ever been. It’s only a matter of time and a few clicks to go from knowing the face and the name of a candidate to understanding their position and the influence they hold within the political climate.
3. Be courteous throughout the election
Of course, your views matter… about as much as everybody else’s. Additionally, remember you’re not here to judge where someone else is currently at as they are navigating their own political itinerary.
If you’re not a self-declared one already, some time ago you were a rookie too, and in the eyes of others, you might still be. But you can make the best out of this difference of perspectives by sharing insights and keeping the conversation going.
And while it’s always a good feeling to have your opinions validated, don’t dismiss the value of leveraging our differences. It’s how democracy was built once upon a time.
Care now for later. Maybe you from the future could have used someone like you from the past to rise to the challenge and throw in their 2 cents at the proper moment. It’s not others that will primarily be burdened by your inaction, it’s you.