Voting is a big deal to me. I have voted in every election I have been eligible to.
I have loved the opportunity I have had over the last few months to have conversations with my kids about how the process works. I have a video of my boys when they were 3 and 4 and we had just finished watching the debates between Barack Obama and John McCain and we told them that one of those men would be our next President. They were split on their opinions and it was fun to watch them think about what an election means.
4 years later it was fun to watch them form real opinions about the candidates, and while those opinions are not as deeply rooted in critical thinking as they one day will be, I love that my boys can think about and articulate their opinions. They may be based on name recognition or the name on the sign in our front yard. They may be based on conversations my wife and I have amongst each other and with other adults. However it happens I love that I get to watch my kids become involved in the process, think through the process, and begin to develop critical thinking skills that will serve them well as they mature. I can’t wait to see what this process will look like in 4 years when we do this all over again.
Last night as we put them to bed we had a conversation about the fact that they might wake up in the morning and that the candidate they like may not have won. We assured them that America would be fine and that we will continue to do the best we can to make the world around us better. I appreciate the right that I have to be involved in my political process. Regardless of whether or not my candidate wins I am glad I get to have my say. There have been plenty of post-election day mornings when I looked at the election results baffled at the results, yet that is the process. It is a good process, It is part of what makes America great.
I think there is no better message to share with kids especially on the day after a very contentious campaign season, that now is the time to reach out to our neighbors our friends our family etc… those that share our political beliefs and those that do not, and work together, play together, live together, and love together. We need to begin to find the common ground we have, and to work together to achieve what is in the best interest of the Country, State, County, City we live in. At the end of the day we are all still Americans. America is not the president, it is not the congress, it is no elected official. America is us, you and I and everyone in between. So my challenge to everyone is to ask you:
What are you going to do to make America better today?