I have come to pride myself on having a blog where people can come to take take their mind off of everything and just have a laugh (I’ve always been a big subscriber to the theory that laughter is the best medicine). However, one of the things that has given me the most pleasure recently has been sharing my views on this presidential election. Over these long and arduous last few months of campaigning I have tried to keep things relatively light. I have had my opinions but all in all I have tried not to shove rhetoric down anyone’s throat.
I have been in a bit of a stupor for the past few days. As this whole crazy drama comes to it’s climax tomorrow I find myself wrestling with a plethora of emotions.
I feel relieved. Relieved that it is drawing to a close. Relieved that we won’t have to hear much more of this bullshit that we’ve constantly been subjected to for what seems like forever now. Relieved that the constant bickering and arguing over this campaign and it’s issues will have run it’s course. There will be new bullshit to argue and bicker over, but at least it will be fresh.
I am anxious. Anxious to go and cast my vote. Anxious to be a part of history. Anxious to see who wins. Anxious to see if the democratic process is upheld and respected the way that it should be.
I am sad. Sad for all of the people who have not lived long enough to take part in this historic event, including Barack Obama’s grandmother.
I am grateful. Grateful to be alive and witnessing this great time. Grateful to be an American (despite all of my country’s flaws). Grateful to have learned my history and to have people in my life who have given me a sense of how much of an honor it is to cast my vote.
I am nervous. I am very nervous. Nervous as to whether or not Obama will win. I am nervous that if McCain is elected there is a very real chance that Sarah Palin could be president. Nervous about how people will react if he loses. Even more nervous about how people will react if this election is stolen from him. I am nervous of what will happen if he is elected. If he will be able to deliver. If he will be able to deal with the mess he has inherited. I am nervous of what some radical people might try to do to him if he becomes our president.
I am afraid. Afraid of becoming too attached. Afraid to really believe that things will be better. Afraid of what the future holds.
I find myself at this crossroad not really knowing what to feel. I close my eyes and try to listen and things are going so fast that it’s hard to decipher anything. Then I ask myself this simple question; What do you want to feel? What is it that your heart reaches out for? When I ask myself this question the answer becomes quite clear. What I
want need to feel, what my heart aches for is hope. Real, genuine hope. Hope untainted by doubt or cynicism. The type of hope that lives not in our minds, but in our hearts.
When I think about what I want to have have happen tomorrow, I want nothing more than to have my hope be validated. Nothing more than to feel like I am not powerless. That I am not a helpless bystander watching his country and his world spiral further and further into uncertainty and despair. Nothing more than to have some good news be on the front page for a change. When I was young I read stories about great men like Martin Luther King or Ghandi. I’ve been inspired by men like Malcolm X and Bobby Kennedy. I have been greatly influenced by these men. I’ve always wondered what it must have felt like to be alive during their time. To witness the change they affected. To watch the fire they lit under people. To be filled with hope by their words. I now know what that feeling is. It is a feeling I have been reluctant to embrace, but nevertheless it is a feeling that has encompassed my entire being.
We live in a cynical, cynical world. I’d be hard pressed to tell someone that they don’t have a reason to be. The only reason I can give with certainty is that we need hope. We need to find the ability to allow ourselves to hope once again. Without hope all is lost.
When you go out to vote tomorrow I ask simply that you vote with your hearts as well as your minds. And please don’t be afraid to hope.