Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Right to choose.

Today, like so many others in the United States, I am thankful that I have the right to vote for government representation, and that l don't have to worry about getting maimed or worse for voting for the "wrong" person.

I am thankful, but I am also disillusioned by much of what counts as politics. It's all red and blue, us and them, you and me. I know I should be thankful for our differences, as that's what makes us as humans so interesting. But really, those differences, sometimes, just make me sad or angry or frustrated or all three at once.

I struggle with this - the concept of respecting the beliefs and opinions of others. The truth of the matter is that there are some things that vast swaths of Americans believe and think that I don't respect at all.

I don't like football. But I understand why others do and I respect that.

I don't care for baby corn, but I see the value and I respect the choice of those that could eat it with every meal.

Football and baby corn, I get. Those are easy. Those don't affect me or my friends or my family in any meaningful way. But I don't respect the choice by many people to deny the right to marry or adopt children by loving couples who happen to be of the same sex. I don't respect the decisions of those who refuse to discuss anything other than abstinence with their teenagers, then try to prevent them from getting access to birth control of any kind. I don't respect people that claim to be pro-life, so long as that life has yet to be born, at which point the life must pull itself up by his or her bootstraps (where newborns get boots is of no concern to them).

I want to value our differences, respect the opinions of others, just get along, but when so much light is shown on our differences during these political seasons, I get tired. I tune out. I want to crawl into a burrow and not emerge until November 7th.

Keeping an open mind is hard, and something that I continue to work on every day. But it just gets so frustrating to know in my soul that my belief on something is right, and so many people think it's wrong - I just don't know where to go with that, you know?

Anyway, today is about exercising our freedom of choice. Even if your choice is different from mine, please vote. I really, sincerely mean it. As it says in my favorite song from my favorite musical:
I chose, and my world was shaken- so what?
The choice may have been mistaken, the choosing was not
You have to move on...

- "Move On" from Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George
Regardless of how the election plays out, we will move on. I'm thankful for that, as well.

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