Now officially a septuagenerian, I am mindful that I have cast many mindless votes in my lifetime.
At the beginning of this democratic timeline, my vote was heavily influenced by the ’tribal elders’ who had shaped my world. The idea was to perpetuate the lineage of the ‘anointed one’ – the one that the older generation imprinted on the obligations of the next. Or, barring that, the strategy was to use one political party to leverage the reward/punishment of another…. the concept of voting strategically. In doing so, the fulcrum of ’normal’ or ‘habituated’ would remain the balance point to make sure that not too much really changed. In so doing, the illusion of impact would be preserved.
A vote was not shaped by the intimacy of personal values but was the logical byproduct of budgets and monies earmarked for projects of personal preference; charisma of party leaders and the desire to ‘back a winner’.
That went on for a long time. Then, as I approached my 30’s, I started to teeter into the realm of ‘crazy’ (I was a lot of fun!) which quickly led to the world of ’sick’ (I was not a lot of fun)…. and I just stopped. Decades followed, directing my focus on exploring and discovering what really mattered to me…. personally…. intimately. Explorations of the part that I had played and continue to play in shaping the world I called ‘reality’ and how I influenced the structure of that reality. The end result led to a recognition that in so many ways and places in my life, I needed to vote with my feet.
I left more things than I sustained. Jobs. Relationships. Beliefs. Ideals. Goals. All peeled away as I turned my attention to the core-engine of my ‘being’ that ultimately was the driving force of my creations; was the power and engagement in the creation of my ‘doing’. Turned out that when I took a good look, it did not look that good.
Fast forward to today as we approach yet another election in Canada. A national one… called by the sitting Prime Minister… in the midst of a pandemic that has been shaped by his mindset and leverage in its dynamic unfolding across the country. Interesting choice, in interesting timing.
But I digress since this is, as always, all about me.
This time, I’m different. I’ve done things that I’ve never done before.
For the first time in my life, I’ve contributed financially to a political party.
For the first time in my life, I’ve become a member of a political party.
For the first time, I will cast my vote by mail-in ballot.
And for the first time, I will vote according to my very intimate and personal values; vote in alignment with my conscience; and will with my vote declare where I stand relative to my very intimate and personal interpretation of what I see unfolding around me.
I am not just unhappy with the current circumstances – I am deeply concerned about the future of my children and even more, of my grandchildren. And beyond, I am even more deeply disturbed by what I see as an emerging pattern of sublimation of the instinctual power of the individual to the dictates of those who purport to speak for an anonymous collective.
I am exhausted by and disgusted with the lies and the semi-truths and the deceptions; with the spinelessness and cowardice of platitudes and platforms that seek to remove my individual, personal rights in the name of some collective; with what candidates are willing to say and do to remain in power, just a little longer, not so they can do something meaningful for their constituents but so they can put off their shame of defeat. The willingness to embrace that which is expedient at the cost of that which is authentic, honest and viable.
So much bullshit being slung around, with the hope that some of it will stick and squeeze out another vote.
Never in my life have I been more steeped in listening to political speeches and debates. Reading party platforms and opinion pieces and MSM reporting on each of the party leaders and their candidates. So much of it is so tedious because so little of it rings true. After 30+ years in the program room for accelerated evolution and leadership explorations, words (i.e. choice of vocabulary, cadence, tonality, breathing patterns, etc.) and body language scream volumes if/when we are both willing and able to calibrate for it. Often, I have stopped listening as the dishonesty and hypocrisy are more than I can stomach.
Like you, my choice for my vote is personal. I’m not casting a vote because you are. I’m not choosing a party because strategically, it will improve the chances of another party NOT succeeding. I’m not casting a vote because I think I’m right and you should cast yours the same way.
I’m voting – perhaps for the first time in my long life – because what I care deeply about is essential to the world I am choosing for my grandchildren. They are oblivious to this moment in my life that, for me, is monumental and essential. This one, single vote is but a cell in a coalescence of many cells that will come together and form an expression of ‘being’ that matters to me. Will my candidate ‘win’? I have no idea – but I do know that I WIN when I make that choice based on that deeply intimate and personal drive to set a direction for a future rather than to seek to control the moment.
The intention to mandate vaccines has been the straw that broke this camel’s back. I would rather die than be forced into receiving into my body that which I do not choose for myself. The inside of me…. the place where I live and from which I express into a collective reality…. is the most sacred of Space in my existence. I will not be complicit in its violation.
For me, this is less a vote in an election and more a moment of declaring mySelf. Perhaps it is best said by the sitting President in one of my all-time favourite movies ‘Independence Day’ :
“(I) will not go quietly into the night.
(I) will not vanish without a fight.”
The erosion of individual freedoms for the sake of a collective guarantees a collective that is compliant and unable to stand for itself. Perhaps we might all spend a moment and consider that one…
That is not the future I am choosing for my grandchildren.