While recently we’ve been dedicating Fridays to the new series, Tidbits of Recommendations, it didn’t feel right this week to go about business as usual. It’s no secret that right now is history in the making – between the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, media – in the forms mainstream news, social media, and basically any other form you can think of – are moving faster than anyone can keep up with.
In the constant noise and brouhaha of information, it’s hit me how important it is to know yourself in times like these. With the major issues facing our world, you need to first ask yourself how you feel about everything that’s going on as it happens before allowing media to frame an opinion for you. With that in mind, don’t just rely on one source to get the whole story (and I don’t mean even just relying on only CNN or only FOX), I mean don’t just rely on televised or mainstream news to show you what’s happening. While you should always take it with a grain of salt, social media can be a great place for information you may not hear on the news – videos and accounts from people who are actually on the scene and have added layers of information.
Doing your own research is so important, as is having conversations with those around you (and not over Facebook comments). Gain perspectives of how you can further your learning in times like these as we always have room for growth as individuals and communities.
And this doesn’t only apply to the current movement happening across America (or, should I say, current highlighted movement as it is something that has been an issue and a topic for decades). This also applies to the future of our country as a whole. It’s an election year, and while I’m not going to tell you who I think you should vote for as that’s not my place, I do want to make it my place to really encourage you to vote.
Voting is imperative to the way in which a democracy operates. And this is true all the way from the top of the presidency to the local-est of local elections. These things matter and these will be the people who will be the decision makers in our society. Don’t you want a say in that?
It’s overwhelming and that’s no doubt. The best advice I can give is to take a step back and, again, ask yourself what matters to you. What do you value? How do you feel about things like economic structures and taxes? What do you look for in leadership? Evaluate anything and everything you can, and then do the research. Which candidates align with your values? If you agree with their work and what they plan to do for your community or society as a whole, don’t they deserve your support? Don’t you owe it to yourself to do what you can to help those values be enacted and represented? Plus, they give you the option to mail in a ballot that you fill out from home, so what excuse do you have not to do it?
While, again, it’s not my place to sway you one way or another politically, all I can ask is this – please take the time to vote. If you think, “my vote doesn’t matter, I’m just one person,” I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. It does matter and it does make a difference. So please exercise your right to vote in the coming elections.