Vote Because You Can

flag of america
Photo by Sharefaith on

I have been participating in a local postcard writing campaign for some politicians running for office. We get together as a group at a local establishment to drink coffee, watch the large TVs that are set to the news channels, etc. and talk about the goings-on in Washington and our state as well.

We are quite low-key in our actions and low volume in our conversations.  We are careful to buy coffee, etc. to support the business and to get out before the lunch rush. We have been approached by people who question what we do, who support what we do, and who aren’t too happy about what we do. We haven’t had to defend ourselves, yet, but if we were, I think we could fall back on our first amendment right to freedom of peaceable assembly.

We are trying to mobilize people to vote. This is something that people who become citizens are encouraged to do. Unfortunately, it remains something that some people who are citizens often forget about, put off, or ignore.

There are people who wish they had the freedoms and rights we do. I remember when I was working with refugees, they would tell me that this was the greatest country in the world. Sure, we have our problems, but we have the possibility, and the Ability to change and solve them. The question is, will we choose to do so?

I remember once seeing someone who was having a hard time getting up out of his chair.  He was also using a walker to get around. It got me thinking about all the times I haven’t wanted to go for a walk for whatever reason. But seeing him and the difficulty he had with the seemingly simple act of walking made me think, “Don’t walk because you want to. Walk because you can.”

The same holds true for voting. “Don’t vote because you want to. Vote because you can.”


A Mile In Other People’s Shoes

fashion footwear grass outdoors
Photo by Tobi on

I am definitely walking a mile in other peoples’ shoes. Yes, I realize this is a temporary condition for me. But it has opened my eyes to a new reality. And has made me appreciate what I have just expected and lived with all these years.

I now understand the Basics of life without use of one arm and hand. So many things were difficult if not barely possible for me. To name just a few of my discoveries, I asked other people, ex., waitstaff in restaurants, to cut my food (meat, pasta) for me, my hair didn’t see an elastic in Weeks, showering took some serious thought and prep, and getting dressed was an adventure dependent on gravity and quick, on-the-fly tosses and grabs. Lifting “light” things, unscrewing jar lids or lightbulbs, wringing out a towel or my hair, and tying shoes or a bandana were all hard or impossible.

I’ll go back to life as usual in a few weeks. First I have to get my body back to “normal”. This is sure to be a slow process. I am sure my wrist and its muscles have forgotten a few things. They will have to be (painfully) reminded.  Therapy awaits. I hope I get to use my new friend, ice, during this.

As I said, in a few weeks, I go back to a ‘normal’ life. Through this process, I am realizing that other people can’t. It is a humbling wake-up call about all the things I have taken for granted being able to do without difficulty, or pain. I will try to keep these in mind as I go about living from now on.