Politics as Charity

James - Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Entered on December 3, 2008

I believe in the importance of politics. Many people speak of their own “calling”. Those who feel they have a particular calling are often believers of a higher power or higher powers. They believe that assorted deities of their religion specifically put them on this Earth to fulfill a certain task. Often you find that the callings are usually charitable and not necessarily monetarily fruitful. One might think of Mother Theresa, and her missions work, Mahatma Gandhi and his peaceful revolutions, or even unsung heroes like soldiers, teachers, and doctors. My calling is politics.

Now by no means am I trying to put myself up on a pedestal with the likes of Gandhi, Mandela, and Watson and Crick, but I believe the small role that I am set out to fulfill is one in the field of politics. Since I can remember, I was always the one to engage people in conversations, jump into social problems in attempts to fix them, and, as many people might tell you, force people to think about politics and the woes of our world today.

I started campaigning in tenth grade. At first, I walked door to door dropping off literature to inform my neighbors about the pressing issues of the neighborhood. Sometimes, I would even knock on the doors and talk to the people, often bringing the various local candidates along with me. I felt that, even though many people see politics as a corrupt system, with people in it for themselves, that deep down in the roots of politics, you can find the genuine people who are in politics specifically to help those who desperately need help. At first I was a free-lance campaigner, I would travel from campaign to campaign, on both sides of the spectrum, and spread out my energy and time during the election years. Eventually, though, I was sucked in by certain campaigns and would exclusively work for one candidate during election season. Getting to know the candidates that I worked for strengthened my belief that politics gets a bad reputation from a seemingly small minority of those who take part in it. This energized me more. I started getting involved in the actual policy making, making sure that the candidates I helped get elected were doing the right thing. This was, perhaps, the most exhilarating part of the political experience.

I have seen first hand the greatness that comes out of politics. I have seen first hand the improvements that it brings to the lives of the constituents and the candidates. I have definitely been let down by the system once or twice, and sometimes I question whether or not it is worth it. But at the end of the day, when the election results come in, and the newly elected officials start doing the right thing, that is when I know it is worth it. In this I believe.