Self-Determination Day

I voted yesterday!

This was the first time I’ve ever voted in person.  I’ve spent a long time living in places away from my home of record, or deployed overseas.  Then, two years ago, with two kids under three, I got to the polls 5 minutes after close.

Yesterday, I arrived around 815am.  Where I voted, there were two groups.

People who were prepared were generally in hurry.  They left their car running in the loading zone while they jogged to the drop off box, dropped their prepared and sealed ballot, and headed off to work.

People who hadn’t filled out their ballot were mostly confused.  Inside the building, I saw lots of uncertainty and confusion.  I heard things like “I think I’m registered, but I’m not sure…” or “I’m not sure who the candidates are”.

For those that showed up later in the day, there were huge lines–so some who wanted to vote, but waited too long to arrive, and didn’t feel like they had the time to stay, weren’t able to cast a ballot at all.

Like many optional, important in life, it’s tough to quantify the cost of not voting.  An individual vote feels like it doesn’t matter in the big picture. But few would say that the leadership of our nation is inconsequential–it impacts our laws, our national conversation, our economy, and whether we have peace or war.

I thought this was a good analogy for the important decisions in life:

  • We often don’t set aside time to make deliberate, optional choices
  • It’s a private, individual decision, so it’s tough to learn from others
  • The cost to waiting is substantial, but tough to quantify
Photo by Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash

May we all take the time to be intentional about our decisions and find ways to keep learning from others–particularly in the small, optional, important actions that determine our direction.

Stay encouraged, and have a great day!

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