03 Nov No Matter What Happens, We Must Stand United
THE SCENE AT THE VOTING POLLS this morning was one of encouragement and inclusivity. I didn’t know what to expect beforehand; however, I don’t think I expected to leave feeling incredibly uplifted.
I thought there might be citizens in the street, calling out for their candidate of choice to those headed to the booths.
There were rally cries up and down the street outside of the voting center, but they weren’t for specific candidates. They encouraged others to vote in general, a call to contribute to our great nation’s overall well-being.
Inside the small auditorium were pop up booths and volunteers with smiles on their faces. They seemed proud to be there, and that made me proud.
I was a few questions deep when the room erupted in applause as if the next president had just walked in.
“First-time voter!” The volunteer who had shown me to my booth exclaimed. The man leaving turned around and gave a cordial wave.
Today is an occasion in which people dream of taking part, and now, they were being cheered on for doing so. That’s not something to take for granted.
“Ah, terrific!” I replied. I couldn’t help but crack a smile under my mask. The room broke out in applause several more times, and I must admit, I couldn’t hold back.
Nobody knew who the other people in the room were voting for. Nor did they ask.
We’ve been given the right to determine our country’s future. This presidential election has put our country through the wringer, but it must not divide us.
Divided, our country can’t accomplish a thing. Together, we can create the change we need. And no matter what our individual preferences are, we must stand united through it all. Together, we can get through anything.
I read a quote on Instagram from Merlin Clarke, the director and driver of the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization, Do Good Bus.
“For years, I’ve watched people get on the Do Good Bus in the morning, sit as far apart from one another as possible, and isolate themselves over their phones,” Merlin said.
“The bus starts rolling and we make connections, have conversations, and work side by side for a greater good. The economic, race, and party lines that divide us are blurred, and we are united. We’re better together. Tribes, villages, religions, and communities built our country. Not everyone shared the same beliefs; not every state agreed with each other. However, we united, sacrificed, and worked to create a bigger and greater union. We are social beings; we are better together.”
The Do Good Bus brings people together on a traveling bus to give back and help out in the community through tangible action.
I’ve known Merlin for basically my whole life, and his words inspired me just like the volunteers at the polls did.
We are social beings, and we must be there for each other, no matter what happens. Encourage, don’t blame. Do what you can, and be open.
This election is about creating a brighter future for us all; yet, that starts with the little actions that we do to stand united.
Like Merlin, we all have the power to make the world a better place. It just takes being a human being who cares.