As just one person, the obstacles standing in the way of a brighter future for our country may seem overwhelming. As a parent, the more I learn about how politics operate in Georgia, the more concerned I become for my child and her future.
But, as a proud voter today, I am reassured when I see the long line outside my polling location. Maybe I'm not alone. Maybe my vote will count. Maybe there are other people who, like me, are learning that the first step toward change is to stand up and let your voice be heard.
I have voted in every Presidential election since I was 18. And, I have taken my child with me to the voter polls every time I have voted since the day she was born. Yes, it might be a little more hassle, but usually the people in line are very understanding and even smile if she decides to do a little spin or dance move to fight off the boredom that comes with waiting in line. And she is always thrilled when the nice people give her a sticker on our way out the door.
Along with teaching my child to brush her teeth, eat her vegetables and wear her seatbelt, I'm doing my best to instill another good habit in her while she is still young and impressionable and has to do what I tell her. That good habit is voting.
I hope that showing up to vote will one day seem as natural to her as saying thank-you or looking both ways before you cross the street. I want it to be one of those things that you just do, no matter what. It can be very discouraging when we, as adults, think about the many issues surrounding us and the corruption that has found its way into so many of the governement positions we used to hold in such high esteem.
My child has witnessed her father and I battle against the public school system, fight to get a bill in front of state legislators to keep cell phone towers off our school grounds, hand out flyers and post yard signs for local politicians we believe in, and speak to the media on a variety of subjects that have concerned us. She knows we are involved in our community and that we do not always share the same opinions as others. But, what we have started ourselves really stems back to our love for her and our desire to make sure the world is a safe and happy place for her.
So, beyond what I can do for my child right now to take care of her basic needs, I'm also trying to teach her the importance of being a good citizen, a good neighbor and a faithful voter. Our freedom is often challenged and may feel fleeting at times, but I will take what we have right now over what life could be like if we lived in any other country.
If you have children, I encourage you to vote today and take them with you. Explain to them how they are expected to behave to make sure they are as respectful at the polls as they would be in church or at the library. It doesn't really have to be a big deal for the lesson to sink in. It is just something you need to decide to do on a regular basis, so the process becomes a good habit.
Your vote is more than just your voice. It's our future.
(To read more about our plight regarding the cell towers, schools and state, visit our website)