I love election day. There's a patriotic buzz in the air. People are talking and posting about the election and the important issues at stake. People are urging their friends, families and colleagues to head to their local polling places. And, people are taking advantage of their right as American citizens to take action and cast their vote for the next President of the United States.
No matter where you go, you can't help but see political candidate placards overtaking yards, sidewalks and street corners. And, throughout the day, lines continue to snake up to and around the polling places dotted throughout Chicago's neighborhoods. It always gets me excited, makes me antsy to get out there and vote, and makes me eager to be able to proudly declare that I took a stand.
As a parent, election day also gets me excited to show our sons that just one person can make a difference in the course of our country and our collective futures.
Important Election Day Lessons
Today is the culmination of all of the recent conversations we've had about the candidates, the issues at hand, and the election process. In recent days, we've tackled hard topics about how do we know who the right person is for the "job," how does someone get to be a candidate, and why there are party lines. I've cherished our sons' interest in the candidates and the election, and the dialogues we've had on all of the topics - even the hard ones.
We've talked about who I am personally going to vote for in the one election that matters to them most - the one that decides our president for the next four years. And, I'm glad they've really pushed me on the all important question of "why." Why do I think he'll do the best job? Why don't I want to vote for the other candidate? Why do I have to go wait in line to cast my one vote? It's gotten me to really think about it, to really try to articulate my own personal beliefs and decisions, and to really get fired up about this election. And, to me, that is what this whole process it all about.
While it's easy to sit idly by and let others do the voting for me, that's not an example I want to set for my sons. While it's easy to just cast my vote based on who is from the "red" team or the "blue" team, that's not a lesson I want to impart on my sons. And, while it's easy to think just one person can't make a different, that's something I never want my own sons to think is possible.
We can all make a difference. We all have the right to vote. And, we all need to make it happen - today.
A Family that Votes Together, Is Active Together
So, this afternoon after my sons are done with school, we're all going to head to the polls and vote. While I will be the only one of us who is able to punch the holes that dot my ballot, I want my sons to be there to witness my involvement, my role and my stand. I just hope that it will teach them to be passionate, get involved and make a difference - no matter if it's for an election, a project or a cause. I want them to know that just one person, one vote, one voice is important. And, together, it makes us strong, America an amazing country, and the world a better place.
Tonight we'll go online to get the latest news, follow the evolving conversation on Twitter, and watch TV to see the votes come in and states across the U.S. turn red or blue. We'll cheer the initial results as we see fit. But, there won't be any sore losers in our home - if I have my way. While our candidate may not win, I want our sons to think we're victorious because we took action and cast our vote - together. Because when people take a stand, we can only win - no matter what.
Here's to world citizens - and active, involved voters everywhere!