This past year’s election contest has been difficult at best so making lemonade is an exceptional challenge. Early voting was a necessity since I’ll be out of town on November 8th so I headed over to the mall to cast my vote. There were at least 50 voting machines and 12 people checking in anxious voters. The line for signing in was 10 deep. When it was my turn, a gentleman close to my age greeted me with a beaming smile and full of energy; just as he had the previous ten people and continued to do throughout the entire time it took to vote. And that wasn’t the best thing about the experience. There were two young ladies – probably not even old enough to vote – volunteering by helping voters find available machines.
The lemonade, so to speak, is not wondering if all my selections win. It’s not even so much that I participated. The good which has spawned from this torrential election season is a renewed interest in the political process. It has sparked incredible thirst from people within the entire voting age spectrum. Young and old are not simply taking a closer look but studying the process and finding more information about their candidates as well as state and local ballot measures. Early voter turnout percentage is nearly off the charts!
The answers? They are not found within one person. Nor are they monopolized by one political party. However, by coming together and getting involved, that moves us forward; first within local communities and spreading out from there. I cannot tell you what the results will be on November 8th but I can tell you that on November 9th, we will need to heal from over a year of mudslinging and insults which have a perpetuated a greater potential of hurting this nation much more than any single candidate. We need to build rather than tear each other down. Just because your candidate wasn’t victorious doesn’t mean there is no hope. It is time for young and old, conservative and liberal, rich and poor, to all extend a hand of kindness. We learn best when we are able to listen. It is time we listen to each other. The future can be bright or it can my mired by being stuck in the mud. Choose wisely.