It is time to vote. The most important presidential election, perhaps in American history, is approaching. Voting is your only way to determine what you want, what you stand for, what your life is about. When you “throw away” your opportunity to vote, you vote anyway. You vote for apathy, indifference, powerlessness.
The first time I visited Eastern Europe, experienced the Iron Curtain, and my fear when crossing back into Berlin of the young boys in uniform at the checkpoint with their automatic weapons, the barbed wire, and concrete barriers I realized what the right to vote means, and what it means to be able to travel where I please, say what I feel, and do what I need to do.
None of those freedoms existed in East Germany. Even if we foolishly vote them away in the next election – if we vote for fear, superiority, exclusiveness, powerlessness – we cannot throw away the necessity of voting continually throughout every day, and every hour.
When you are impatient, will you vote for patience or the impatience that you are feeling? Acting on the impatience is a vote for it. Challenging it (not acting on it) is a vote for patience. When you are angry will you vote again for anger (act on it), or will you vote for understanding and care (not act on it). What you vote for gets elected.
You are the only one voting in the election.
The candidates are always love and fear. Love runs on the harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for Life ticket. It presents itself as gratitude, caring, patience, contentment, appreciation, and more.
Fear runs on the discord, competition, hoarding, and exploitation ticket. It presents itself as anger, jealousy, resentment, superiority, inferiority, need to dominate, need to please, and every obsessive thought that you think (such as, He is so stupid; I am so stupid), every compulsive activity you engage (such as workaholism, perfectionism, savior searching), and your every addictive behavior (such over-eating, smoking, gambling, watching pornography, shopping, alcohol, drugs).
Listen carefully to the candidates that are running for election.
Get to know them. Let yourself imagine what it would be like to live in the world they want to create. Do you want to live that world? Each time you vote, the candidate you choose wins. You act on your anger or not, challenge your jealousy or not, indulge the need to please or not. You can loose the ability to vote in a democratic election. It is not guaranteed and it would not exist without the courage and blood that were required to create and maintain it. Don’t throw that courage and sacrifice away.
Love your neighbors enough, including those who have come before you, to honor their gifts. People like you have died so that you can vote. Voting in a democratic election is that precious.
You will never lose your ability to vote for love or fear.
It cannot be taken from you and you have no option but to use it. Each moment that you are angry you must challenge your anger or act on it, challenge your impatience or act on it, challenge your sense of hopelessness or let it control you.
Each moment you vote for the world that you want to live in by choosing a loving part of your personality or a frightened part. No one counts your vote. Each vote creates consequences that you encounter in the intimacy of your own experience.
Only your vote stands between you and the life that you want to live, between joy and pain, between meaning and emptiness.
It’s time to vote.