I think it’s fair to say that most of us are a bit on edge these days, due to a laundry list of various issues that fluctuate with importance just as each of us fluctuates in our own spaces. In such an environment, one that often feels overwhelming and possibly endless, there are moments when folks may not be on their best behavior. (And I freely raise my own hand as an exhibit; I’ve knocked on that door a time or two.)
In this thoughtful piece, Rebecca reminds us that, though our passions may be high (and perhaps justified), there are a few basic tenets we should always uphold, even celebrate, or we just might jeopardize the very things we are passionate about. Enjoy.
November Second; For the Pen
I avoid talking politics.
I’m not ignorant of the political scene. I’m not uninformed about what is going on around us. But. As a general rule, I avoid talking politics unless it is proven that the conversation that ensues will be intelligent and respectful. That does not/cannot happen online so I don’t talk politics. Political topics are tender for the fire for trolls and hate speech…on all sides. It is incredibly disturbing to watch supposed adults act as they do when politics are brought up. How a once rational conversation devolves into name calling and threats.
So this is not so much a political conversation. But yet, it is one about voting and the right to vote.
Why bring this up today? Because it is election day. All around us here in the U.S. there is voting going on for this position or that. For referendums that need voted upon. Today, many will gather at their local polling places and mark their ballets for their choice. It is a right and freedom that has been fought for, and for which, many have died. For that all important check mark in a box beside a name. Giving individuals a position of importance. A position that some, not all, abuse.
This is not a write about this party or that party. This is not written to condemn or promote anyone. This is meant to promote a thankfulness that we have this right. That we are still able to take up a pen and freely mark our choices. The question of has this process been bastardized and distorted? I will not go into that. This topic is dangerous enough. The arguments over rights and wrongs, of legal and illegal, of voter identification requirements or not, sound out continuously. I have my thoughts and beliefs, but I will hold them close to my chest here as I want to keep fires in the very least to a minimum.
The purpose, my purpose, is to say how thankful that I am, that we all should be, that we can still vote. That we can take up that pen and mark that box. But there is more.
I am thankful for the honest individuals who dare to take the chance to step into the political arena knowing that it can devolve into a sort of dog fight. Where those who support another take it upon themselves to attack anything and everything about the opponent. Then, going further, will attack their supporters. This is not the actions of mature, responsible adults. This isn’t done only verbally, but typed out on online sites for the world to see. Words that will remain throughout time. Your children’s children’s children may come across that one day and see your attitudes and actions. How many times have people in politics and in the entertainment industry, how many times have the ordinary individual, had their words, actions and photos come back to bite them? We should be able to openly discuss, with respect and maturity, our thoughts, beliefs and convictions. Our Constitution gives us this, people have died for this, that as citizens of a country we have the right. Something we scream about daily. Yet, we deny it to others.
I must note something here though. Having a right to say something, doesn’t mean it always needs to be said. Especially if it is disrespectful, attacking, or wrong.
Though I have said nothing, I have watched this happening around me. So many attacking so many and their supporters. For any and all variety of reasons. I feel as if I am watching a gathering of bullies or vultures going after their victim. If you believe so strongly in your candidate speak up for them. Promote their cause, their intentions, their plans. Promote what they have done and what they plan on accomplishing or hope to accomplish through proper channels. If you do not like one who is in what ever position, given the chance, vote them out. Use the political clout you have been given and remove them. You can do that with the mark of a pen in a box. You don’t have to do it with verbal bashing.
Because y’all, it’s embarrassing to watch. It’s embarrassing to know that what you are saying and doing, won’t stay in your small town or big city. It will move outward like the ripples on a pond and show the world the type of individuals who live in your area. Think about it, do you want to be seen as illiterate, cruel, bullies or respectful, intelligent individuals who handle themselves respectfully?
This was intended to be a write on being thankful that we have the freedom to vote and it still is. But it is also a request. A request that we act in a mature manner over this. Yes, there is a lot going on with the system. Yes, there are fears and frustrations and accusations on all sides. But we can’t fix that with immature actions. Your shouting at someone online may quiet them online but they know they still can take up that pen. You may place your signs, and even illegally remove signs, but they have that pen. You may call people ugly names, but they have the pen. You may even simply write a long manifesto that draws attention to your beliefs, but others still have the pen. There is an old saying, “the pen is mightier than the sword”. In this case, the pen is mightier than ugly, immature, senseless words and actions.
For the pen, for the will and determination of others, for the freedom and right to vote. I am thankful.
You can peruse more of Rebecca’s work by clicking here. If you have comments specifically for Rebecca, please be gracious enough to make them on the original post found here so Rebecca can be assured of receiving your thoughts.
Note: The opening photo is my own, a detail shot taken at the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. Even though there is a lot going on, there are some commonalities throughout, which seems reflective of the message in Rebecca’s piece.
The closing shot is from Rebecca’s post, and she explains the origin story behind such in her own caption. Perhaps you could visit her blog to read more? 😉