Voting

I put my "I Voted" sticker on my left cheek as I left the polling site and I wore it there all day. I'm keeping it on until I find out who won this thing. Family and friends who know me aren't phased. They're used to me walking around on Christmas day with bows on my cheeks or my forehead. It's just one of those quirky things I've always done. So much so that my parents didn't bat an eyelash when I walked in to the TV room with a sticker on my face tonight... I did kinda freak out a few coworkers though, oh and the people in the Chick-fil-a, and a few more on the highway on the way to work. LOL!!

You know, I have voted in every election since I became voting age and not just the presidential ones either. I think I missed one once, and that was due to bad planning on my part. Other than that, I've been there every time. Today though... today is different... The reasons are different for each person. For me, it was so touching to see the effect of hope. I saw it in the faces of the young people I stood in line with who were obviously voting for the first time. In the parents who brought their children along to witness the voting process, the old man coming out of the polling site pushing his walker in front of him; the lady in the powered wheel chair who rolled to the back of a long line and waited... I even saw it in the wacky guy who danced in the parking lot to "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" coming from his small boom box (do they still make those??) while his wife took pictures of friends and neighbors and the line...(I felt like I was in downtown DC at the monument or something...) The excitement was palpable. Me, I just stood there silent taking it all in. Regardless of which candidate you're voting for - and I trust that you're ALL voting - you have to have felt that.

The bottom line is I take the right to vote seriously - always have. I understand that African Americans didn't always have it and I have the utmost respect for the price that was paid to ensure that we have it now. To see people taking it lightly hurts my heart almost as much as it does when people make light of Jesus' sacrifice. Some people may find this funny because my background is a little different from most. You see, I am not a descendant of slaves. My parents are direct immigrants from Africa and I am first generation American, so you might say I'm the quintessential "African American." While civil right activists were being hosed down and chased by police dogs or worse, my parents were treated relatively well because they were African and therefore considered "different." I didn't have nearly as many personal encounters with racism to the same degree as my American counterparts. Even so, in my eyes, we are the same. I'm no better, no different.

My father experienced similar situations in his native land as he spoke out against European colonialism and was jailed and targeted for it. (I'm gonna right a book about it one day... boy it'll curl your toes! You think James Bond is bad? Just you wait!) I lost relatives so many in the Angolan struggle for independence. They too sacrificed their lives so I could have a better one. So as far as I'm concerned we share the same history. I cant take that sacrifice, or any other made on my behalf, lightly. And that's why I take my right to vote very seriously.

Hope you exercise your right today! Later!