Welcome to Ask April, a no-nonsense advice column focusing on what it is you can do to correct things that need correcting. While we all know much in life is out of our control, and sometimes, our reaction is all we CAN control- we really do have a lot of personal power, thankfully. Our will is just as important as the wills of others around us, and while we need to be considerate, we also need to make sure others are equally considerate of us. It is my hope that when you write in to me, asking advice, that I can help you make a good decision that somehow improves whatever situation you’ve found yourself in. As with anything I share, I recommend people don’t automatically take my word for anything, but include my advice in with the rest of the things that help them make a decision. I wish you well. Read on.
Every other week, I answer a call for advice, and every other week, I share my views on something I observed- I call this Observational Wisdom.
Today’s topic is what we have all been paying very close attention to.
The Presidential Election.
I voted early via absentee ballot because I did not want to deal with the malarkey of long lines and tense energy at the polls.
Plus, let’s face it, it was just convenient. I had my ballot out next to my laptop, and was enjoying coffee with a leisurely lunch whilst researching online each topic and individual. I think from now on I will absentee vote.
You can probably tell I had lulled myself into the false sense of apartness from the stress and craziness the day would bring.
I have crochet projects due and I must get those done! I have to read my patterns and count my stitches. I cannot focus my attention on coverage of the polls. I also had the very important task of walking my dog on and off all day, and cooking a magical pasta sauce from the next to last batch of this years tomatoes from the garden.
I thought I was set for today.
Unfortunately, I can’t get my mind off this mess. It’s 8:11 P.M. Election Day, and the candidate I feel is the most evil creature alive looks to have a chance to win.
Fanciful visions of fleeing to another country to escape if said evil somebody wins are racing through my head.
Also, all the energy from people who now hate one another based on how they voted weighs heavily on my heart. I have purposely stayed out of conversations, making my views clear, but refusing to debate. People have ended friendships and had bloody arguments with family members over this.
The only thing I have said is something along the lines of ‘ Remember folks, we still have to live with one another after this election, regardless of who wins. It’s pointless to hate on one another based on how you are voting and how they are voting.”
I admit, though, to being very hurt and feeling betrayed by family and friends voting for the anti-gay, anti- anything non-white, anti immigrant, anti women’s rights candidate. It feels like a very personal attack on all that I am that people want somebody who will try to create policies he says he will.
Statistics are all over the place. I did not check this, but one said 2/3 of the people who could vote don’t. If this is true, the 1/3 are the ones voicing everything, and 2/3 of people are not. What kind of a message does this send our government? That we don’t care? That we don’t value having our voices heard? We complain constantly, but most of us won’t even vote.
I saw pictures of Susan B Anthony’s grave stone. It is covered with “I voted” stickers. It made my heart glad.
I also saw images of women’s suffragists being force fed in jail back when they were fighting for our right to vote.
Later, a Facebook friend posted a question that if government is corrupt, why even bother to vote at all. My own husband did not vote although I begged him to.
There was a time in this country when women and African Americans had to fight to get the legal right to vote. Now a majority of us don’t even bother?
Further evidence I am unable to stop thinking about this is the fact my article is about it. I just can’t think of anything else.
I am deeply disturbed we are a people who hate foreigners, want to take away contraception and abortion, are anti-gay, and want a bully in the White House. I feel there may be hope for America, but I feel there is no hope for some of her citizens. I have seen the worst of humanity in this Presidential Race, and while I am trying to look away, I feel it deep down in my soul, and I fear for us and where we are headed.
That is all.