You Voted? Great. Now Shut Up & Get to Work.

WelI, I voted today via absentee ballot. Three things about that:

1. Voting is not the biggest thing you can do as a citizen, it’s the smallest. And yet, everywhere around me I hear people trumpeting their vote as a badge of honor, as a sign that they are plugged in and responsible citizens.

BULLSHIT.

To be a good citizen, one should do much more. Whether that’s volunteering time to help others, participating in local community building, working to preserve what’s left of our commons, or something else (the list is long), it means actual and ongoing work aimed at bettering this world for future generations of its inhabitants. It means being good stewards. It means thinking, learning, doing. It means a hell of a lot more than spending three minutes checking boxes every two years. You voted. Big deal. You didn’t earn the right to berate others who didn’t. Maybe they’ve been busy doing the real work.

2. I voted for a progressive woman whose values most closely, but not nearly entirely, echo my own. I voted for a woman with integrity, intelligence and a true passion to help others demonstrated consistently over the years. I voted for Michelle Obama. If you think I threw away my vote, that’s your ignorance on display, not mine.

3. Whichever candidate wins, it’s obvious that it’s time for all of us to get to work. Maybe by 2020 we can find and elevate candidates with more perfect visions of the crises we face. Maybe by then we’ll be ready to leave behind a dangerous binary choice system and join more educated nations around the world in saving the best of what’s left. I’m not banking on it, but I’m sure as heck not going to tell my kids that my contribution to their futures was an ‘I VOTED’ sticker.