I believe in voting. Having a vote is my voice, choice and action. I believe choice is a fundamental of human nature. Even if the choices are less than stellar, like shoveling the walkway or cleaning the basement, I prefer the choice. Voting for these choices is my voice in action. Today I am reminded of these beliefs in two ways. The first is a digital image on my computer’s desktop of an Iraqi woman showing the victory sign with a wry smile and her ink stained fingers. The second, is my unborn child whose arrival my wife and I are anxiously awaiting.
Please do not think that I am an election zealot. When I vote, in my town I often write-in my High School friend for sheriff and myself in for Registrar of Deeds when no one else is running. When there is not a choice then the vote loses value. I do not really want to be the Registrar of Deeds; I am not even sure what job is. I do want to have a choice though. I have been writing Jim Sellers in for Sheriff for over a decade now and will continue to do so as long as there is only one choice on the ballot. Jim was my friend that always agreed with the hard-line teachers but always asked them a follow-up question when he felt he was being treated unjustly. His goal was never to be sassy, but to send a subtle message that he was paying attention to both sides of a one sided conversation. I vote for Jim because when we were growing up he did not let laws and rules define his morality. That is why I believe in the Iraqi woman voting so her morality will define her laws. Being able to choose, having a voice, and being heard are the things I believe in.
This year I will be a father for the first time. As the due date approaches, I am confronted by choices on a nearly hourly schedule. None of these choices is more daunting than when I ask myself what I will do to make this world a place worthy of my child. Even before the child is born the choices began. What color should we paint the baby’s room? Should we home care or day care? What do we know about the Plymouth school system? I remain grateful to my wife for making sure I voted, even on the days when my vote consisted of how cute the little socks are. They are smaller than my thumb and, thus, very cute. Socks aside, my voice, my choice, and the resulting actions are my duty owed to my child and its world. I owe this action because when my child looks at the picture of the Iraqi woman I need my child to believe her exposed face and fingers extend for peace and not her newfound victory for the right to define her peace. As a father-to-be I vote for children.