A few weeks ago I started a series I thought would last a month, my intentional series. The more I dive into this topic, the more time I’m taking to release each post. This one I’ve been lamenting on seriously for months now. I ask that you read with an open heart and mind and that you carefully consider what is on my heart before you rush to judgment.
These words won’t change your mind. My opinions won’t change your mind. A changed heart is all that will change the minds of people. I ask you to throughly examine your heart before you choose to read this and also before you choose to vote. If you are a praying person, I ask you to do so abundantly. If you are not, I urge you to consider whatever you consider in moments of deep lament.
Let me be fra nk with you for a moment, your vote does not change things. But, it is the people around you, your family and friends, your city, your state and ultimately the nation that brings change to fruition. Positive discourse allows us to discuss critical needs that arise in trying times. These are trying times friends, love your neighbor still. Your individual vote may not count, but the masses do and the masses begin with you. Examine your heart.
This is how I see intentional voting:
- Become aware. The media is fruitless and lies are often shared for the sake of banter or fill time. Technology can obscure even the most reliably seeming tapes, audio and photographs. It is done everyday for the sake of more information fodder. The media attention no longer goes to who has the most truthful or engaging of stories but rather whose story is told the loudest. We need to do our own research on ALL of the candidates. Notice I didn’t say just two…did you know that multiple parties are running for office. Shocker…I know. How dare they try to deviate from our archaic two party system.
- Appreciate your vote. Less than a century ago. yes, less than a CENTURY ago. For those of you not good with math, a century is 100 years. Less than a CENTURY ago, I would not have been able to vote. That means the year my grandmother was born, she was born into a world in a nation that didn’t allow her to use her voice in political matters. Less than 100 years ago. Now, people choose to note vote, and they also choose to vote uninformed. What a privilege and an honor to be able to exercise our right to not only vote but to engage in civil discourse about political matters. We can make change. We can influence legislation. We can run for freaking office! We have that right. We have not always had that right or that freedom. Do not take for granted what has been given to you as free because someone else fought tirelessly for it.
- Vote for character. There is no single candidate that is perfect. They are human. They are going to make mistakes. However, you are voting someone into a job that effects millions of people. It is irresponsible for you to use your voting influence to vote for a candidate that does not hold the credentials for that office for the sake of your disdain for their opponent. This is what I am saying to you: It is your right to vote Trump or Hillary. But if your vote boils down to you voting for one because you hate the other…that is irresponsible. You are not voting for the lesser of two evils in this. You are voting for a commander and chief who can rule wisely, with great character, support and conviction. You are voting not just for the next four or eight years of term but for someone who will set things in motion for the office that your children will be voting for. Would you want the person you are voting for in close proximity to your children? Would you want the person you are voting for to be someone your children would aspire to be? Don’t be naive to think that this boils down to a couple harsh words said through many debates. This boils down to character. Is this a person you truly admire and respect?
- Hating Donald doesn’t mean you have to #StandWithHer. Notice I haven’t taken a stand on candidates. I don’t wish to throw in that kind of discourse into this discussion because I don’t feel like we are there yet. People are very upset. Political discourse these days has not been very pleasant. I have several friends who’ve posted their disdain for Donald on their feed and Hillary haters rush to their feeds to show their outrage. Hating one of these two candidates does not mean that you have to vote for the other. You CAN vote third party. The only reason we have an archaic two party system (that ceases to work most of the time mind you) is because people have the archaic mindset that what should be is what has always been. We would not be reinventing the wheel with a multiparty system. It is because everyone thinks they can’t vote third party that no one votes third party even if they want to vote third party…see how messed up that is?
- Love your neighbor. I will be really honest with you. I have very strong feelings against Trump. Most of which I have left out of this narrative for sake of intentional discussion. Several months ago when I even told others that I would leave the country if he were to get elected office. I do not respect him. I did not think that I could still live in and support a nation if I did not respect it’s leader. I’m taking those words back now. I’ve read some pretty sobering things since I made that statement. All of which point to Jesus. You see, I’ve said before and I will say it again… I chose God a long time ago. Rather, he chose me. I look through a lens that is different than people who don’t serve a higher power…but sometimes my gaze gets distracted. I started to despise those who said they could vote for this man. I reevaluated relationships and friendships and businesses I support. It’s real y’all. But at the end of the day, when this election is over… I believe that God will still be sovereign and your neighbor will still be your neighbor.
If at the end of the day you choose to vote for Trump, Hillary or Lemon I hope you are voting your conscience and I hope that you will remember to love your neighbor.