decisions based on altruism

Election season has been in full swing for months now and the big day is finally here. Although we have not quite reached the usual level of excitement and rage that we normally experience during the primaries, tensions are still running high with emotions and attitudes ranging from dogmatic to don’t care.

Hearing many of the conversations surrounding me lately in conjunction with social media rants has demonstrated how passionate some people truly are when it comes to their personal beliefs, moral values and political opinions. That passion and involvement can be a good thing, but only when it is coming from a good place. Some people unfortunately are radically passionate about things that could be considered dangerous or irrational, and what I find even more troubling is that many are not even able to explain their views any further than just because or I was raised this way.

If I were to give you a short list of current issues that we could mutually agree on as being very important, and have you prioritize them in order of importance, would your first instinct be to arrange them according to how they would directly affect you? Or would you consider the issues to be facing the country as a whole? Something to consider.

I have known feminists who have thrown a woman their vote just because she was a woman, and religious people who have voted for people who claimed to be religious solely based on that, only to later realize that they disagreed on numerous issues. It’s amazing how closed minded people who never learned to think for themselves aren’t even willing to put in the most minimal amount of effort to really look into the issues. They seem to care as little as those who don’t vote at all, only loosely separated by closed minded passion.

Outside of those who only belong to a political party because their parents belong to it without understanding why or even caring enough to think about issues logically, I find that a large majority of us genuinely want to make both the country and the world we live in a better place, we just have vastly different ideas about how to get there. If you fall under that category, know that it is never too late to change your mind about something. As long as you are attempting to understand other perspectives as well as you understand your own, and weighing the pros against the cons within your own opinions in comparison to the impact that they could have on society if they were to influence a vote to either initiate or prevent change, that is all your civic duty entails outside of the actual vote.

In order to initiate positive change, we have to stop getting so deeply upset at the simple fact that someone disagrees with us and instead direct those feelings toward the inequality, hatred, violence, dishonesty, corruption, and general injustices that people are dealing with on a regular basis. You might even occasionally have to sacrifice a personal moral standard for the greater good and get over the fact that we will never be able to control or change everyone to think and be exactly the same, thank God. We aren’t always going to have clear cut options to vote for everything we feel is best, and that is where the importance of gaining perspective and prioritization lies.

A right to vote is a right not to vote

I have never considered condemning or shaming anyone to be a good thing, so if someone refuses to vote, that’s okay. With that said, if you are relentless, judgmental and love getting into the personal choices of others, you need to hold voters who are uninformed to the same standard as people who refuse to vote at all. It doesn’t make sense to blame those who aren’t helping clean up a mess more than those who contributed to making it. People who don’t vote aren’t helping whatsoever, but those who do should take the responsibility seriously and do it to the best of their ability.

Because we still have power to effect change, it is important to take that seriously. It is important to avoid voting for candidates just because they belong to the same religion, gender classification, ethnicity or political party as us. More than anything else it is important to find out what their plan consists of, what their opinions and values are and how they will act on them, and to determine if they are qualified for and capable of doing the job.

Please use common sense at the polls. Our future depends on it.

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