I’m asking each of us to take a moment and consider how much our votes count. I don’t mean the ones on election day, I mean the votes we cast every single day with our dollars, our television remote control, and our mouse clicks.
When we click on the ridiculous stories bandied about by voyeuristic internet sites to ogle the photographs of celebrities when they are trying desperately to live normal lives with their spouses and children, we are putting money in the pockets of the paparazzi that haunt their every waking moment.
When we watch a stupid television series, we are telling the producers and the advertisers and the networks, that we not only approve, but we want to see more, similar idiocy on our television sets. Don’t you think there is too much idiocy on our television sets and not enough quality? Vote with your remote control.
We vote with our dollars every time we go to a movie at the theater or buy an artery-clogging Big Mac or something cheap from China. If you want Americans to have jobs, buy American goods. If you want quality television, don’t watch trash. Read a book instead. Don’t fall into the trap of feeding the media frenzy on ridiculous stories that invade privacy and promote mindless speculation.
It’s up to us if we want to hold our country to a higher standard of… of everything. When we say “America’s going down the tubes!” Well, guess what? We’re America! You and me.
We can become a more compassionate country by being more compassionate ourselves. We can be more involved parents by not leaving the entirety of our children’s education to the schools. We can demand better television programming by not watching the “least objectionable” show at the time we want to flop on the couch, or politically incendiary rantings. We can become better people by making better, conscious decisions on what we buy, what we wear, what we eat, what we watch, what we view on the internet (and what we pass along), and how we live our lives.
We need to take control of ourselves. We need to live our lives as examples to the next generation. We are role models, each one of us, whether we signed on for that job or not. We can’t just blame our elected officials for leaving a mess for future generations, we’re doing a fair job of it ourselves.
So I ask you today: make a difference. Speak only with great purpose. Act mindfully. Behave as if your vote counted, because it does.