Voting as Spiritual Practice, as a Neighborly Act…

Every day you have less reason
not to give yourself away.
~ Wendell Berry ~

On this eve of a national election, so many conversations begin with “well, depending on who wins the election, …” In our representative democracy, a lot does depend on who wins elections.

Because of how the presidential election is decided, via the electoral college, it can feel as if your vote doesn’t count, especially if you tend to vote the opposite slate from the majority of voters in your state. I have heard more than a few people wonder out loud if they will even vote this year “since their vote won’t count anyway.”

What is imperative to remember during these bouts of feeling disenfranchised is that your local votes also change the world. It matters who sits on the city council seat, who becomes judge, whether that change to the city charter or the state constitution becomes law. It matters in daily life to real people.

Detention policies, educational opportunities, the right to marry – all of this is decided by voting at the local level. The roots of change have always been local. So read up about the local issues. Discuss them with your peers. And then vote, if you can, my friends. Think of it as a spiritual practice: Read, Reflect, Act.

Our votes matter very much to our neighbors and our selves.  May this weekend be a time of spiritual practice for you as you prepare to vote for the sake of your local community next week.


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