And for those who got hooked because of the political-sounding title, go nowhere yet, you will surprisingly fill up on your political java with the right punch, in a few more sentences.
In a few days most people in the USA will be casting their votes to decide on many issues with far-reaching consequences for generations to come. The same is true for many countries across the globe.
For now let’s just concentrate on voting.
Voting is the one single thing that best demonstrates one’s voice in how they want to be governed in any Country or institution. It is the expression of the collective will of the people at any given time. On a deeper level, it confers personhood, and validates your voice as a unique individual.
If you have a vote you have a voice! And we all want our voices heard.
No wonder a quick trip through the corridors of history reveals the struggles and contentions for voting rights worldwide.
When the USA was founded, in most states, only ‘white’ men with land or sufficient wealth for taxation were allowed by law to vote. Over the years, this privilege and/or right had to be extended to include women, African-Americans, Native Americans, amidst fierce battles resulting often times in bloodshed.
The world is replete with a variety of stories like these.
Again, to exercise your vote is to express your voice!
But what does one do when the issues being voted on, are as complex as the candidates and the parties.
I recently landed in a Specialty Candy Store and was paralyzed by the simple decision about which candy to choose. They were all chocolate – thank goodness – but I had never seen a wider selection at one place until then. And they were all calling my name! The ‘kid-in-the-candy-store’ does not even begin to describe my paralysis.
Voting has a deeper dimension that forces you to look honestly within yourself. More than you would in a candy Store.
This means you have a particular opinion or concerns about how your life especially, and the lives of others to a larger extent, are to be lived. These conclusions are drawn based on values derived from a belief system or worldview. Simply defined, a worldview is the way you see life and reality.
It plays an important role in our lives, by assigning meaning to our experiences and providing a convicting grid for important decisions. This is the grid through which we all make choices including stepping into a voting booth to cast a vote.
Your vote is given to the candidate whose position (whether real or perceived) best aligns with your deeply held convictions. In most cases, you may not even know enough about the candidate or party, but when they speak to YOUR ‘issues’, you summarily identify with, and vote for them.
This is a sure way of staying true to who you really are.
Have you clearly identified what you truly stand for in order to know what issues resonate with your convictions?
When you stare questions like this in the face and come up with some answers, you realize all of a sudden that . . . . .
. . . . . . . voting speaks more about YOU than the candidate or party you vote for.
P.S: Part 2 of this Post will be available tomorrow.