The word of the week, of the decade, of the century?
Step number one: Vote. If you don’t vote, you have betrayed your privilege in a democracy, betrayed your opportunity to shape the future, betrayed your responsibility to care.
Step number two: Know precisely what you are voting for when you choose who you are voting for. Know who you’re voting on behalf of.
When you vote, you are not just voting for the issues you care about.
You’re voting for the issues your children need you to care about.
Don’t vote for the past:“My Granddaddy voted this way and I’m going to vote this way!”
Don’t vote for the present:“Well, the economy’s pretty good this week.”
Vote for the future:“Children—my children, your children, my neighbor’s children, our children, all children— deserve a future.”
VOTE! But don’t vote for you. Vote for them. Vote for what they need and what they deserve.
• They need a planet with dependable air, water and food.
• They need to be protected from pandemic.
• They need schools that are open (but only when it’s safe to be open).
• They need to know that they won’t be torn from their parents and locked in cages if their skin is brown.
• They need to know they won’t be choked or shot by police officers if their skin is black.
• They need to know they won’t be tear-gassed if they assemble in peaceful protest.
• They need to know that they won’t be grabbed by men if they are women.
• They need to know that they’ll be valued and respected if they follow a different religious or spiritual path than Christianity.
• They need to know that they’ll be allowed to love whom they please.
• They need the models of adults who are kind and thoughtful.
• They need the models of adults who are encouraging and forgiving.
• They need the models of adults who are fair and good listeners.
• They need to be protected from leaders who tweet and publicly speak insult and hatred.
• They need to be protected from leaders who excuse, pass on or spin hate-speech.
• They need to be protected from leaders who encourage and defend those filled with hateful words and actions.
• They need to know that when adults teach them to be kind, to study hard, to learn the facts, to think critically, to notice beauty, to care for materials, to care for others, to care for themselves, that they really mean that these things are important, that they will vote with these in mind.
• They need to know that the adults thought about them and cared about them when they voted.
Vote as if your great grandchildren are watching, looking whether to thank you or curse you for what you left them.
And if you care nothing for any of the above, care nothing about thinking about what’s at stake, care nothing for reflecting a bit deeper about which each candidate represents, care only about what makes you feel more important than you deserve because of male or white privilege, care only about what benefits you even if it hurts others, may I make a suggestion?