OUR FREEDOMS AND RIGHTS – NARA – 516307 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In the U.S.A., we have so many freedoms to choose as we please in our daily lives that we may sometimes take our freedom of choice for granted until, that is, it is encroached upon. Voting is one of those privileges. While it is certainly within each of our rights as American citizens to choose not to vote, we may not realize what an opportunity we have. Just look at all of the nations who have within the past few years had internal battles with their own people crying out (and some even risking their lives) for the right to vote and have fair elections to choose their leaders, not saying that every election is fair though that’s what the people want. Though we may not always feel that our voices are heard or like our leaders really represent us, at least we have a political process which keeps us from having dictators or leaders who become leaders by default just because they are heirs to their countries’ late leaders.
I certainly understand that the whole election process can be frustrating at times, and so can government as well. Believe me, after traveling to different countries and meeting people in those countries and learning about their systems and government from the people, there are some things that even I believe our government would benefit from by looking at some of the things they do for their people. At the same time, seeing how things are done in some other countries, I also realize how truly blessed we are as Americans. America has its drawbacks, just like any and every other country in the world, but beyond any drawbacks, as I have gotten to experience what it’s like in several other countries, I can say today that I am blessed to have been born in America and to be an American.
Through my international travels, I have learned that in the U.S.A. we have been afforded so many freedoms which we may take for granted not realizing that there are so many around the world who do not have those same freedoms. Our right to vote or not to vote is one of those freedoms that we perhaps take for granted. Although, I know that this does not apply to everyone, especially those who remember a time when people like them were not afforded the right to vote because of things like skin color or gender. Well, nowadays, many people because of frustration and many other reasons choose no to vote, and it is within their rights to vote or not vote if they please without any repercussions.
However, I wonder, if there were repercussions to not voting, would those who choose not to vote still choose not to vote? Do people who choose not to vote take the freedom to vote for granted? Well, in my travels, I have found that some people have to pay a price for choosing not to vote. Our same freedom to choose not to vote is not a freedom to the people of Peru. In fact, every citizen of Peru is expected to vote, and anyone who does not vote must pay a hefty fine (no small change either) for not doing so. Imagine that! Something so many of us take for granted in America, someone else has to pay a price for in Peru if they take it for granted by not exercising the same right.
Now, I know our country, our government and our leaders are not perfect. Neither are any of us. However, let’s not take for granted our freedom of our right to vote. Though it may feel like our voices may not be heard, let them be counted. Someone somewhere else wishes they had your freedom. Never let your freedom be taken for granted. What you take for granted can be lost, and sometimes you don’t really understand what you had until it’s gone… Please, VOTE and be counted!!!
What are your thoughts on the freedom to choose to vote or not vote in the U.S.A.? If you’re from another country, I invite you to share about voting or what takes place in your country concerning government and freedoms of the people.