Sunday, January 30, 2005

A Quiet Sunday AM

So we got a lot of ice and very little snow yesterday afternoon and last night. I woke up today feeling better than I have in several mornings. In true Sunday tradition I made coffee and turned the TV to CBS Sunday Morning. I repeat my self from previous posts here, but I love that show. Informative, short stories on current events and culture.
Today one of the stories was about the voting today going on overseas for the Muslim Shi-ites. Watching this story I was inclined to start thinking, what I know you are going to say has been thought before by many others. We here in the US take so much for granted. We have the right to vote and have had this privilege for a while now. Many Americans don't use that right and of those many don't care that we have that right. But as I watch these people on TV, risking their lives to vote, to cast their ballots, a tear started in my eye. Knowing that with the mark of ink on their finger could mean their life later, as the aggressors have made everyone quite aware that they would be looking for the sign of an inked finger later, and that it would be a mark of shame. People were walking out of the polling places, holding that finger up proudly and that caused quite the emotional stir in me this AM. One man interviewed had lost his brother who fought for the right to vote and for that man, taking his own life in his hands to go vote was his way to honor his brother.
As another group of 3 women walked to a polling place, mortar shells where going off nearby, the women never flinched but kept on walking to the polling place. The TV camera woman broadcasting nearby jumped and sucked slightly. One man standing near her reached out and touched her arm as if to say, "It's OK". He never flinched or ducked either. Can you imagine being numb to explosions and gunfire? I can't. I can't help but think about how easy we have it here. All we have to put up with at the polling places, if we chose to use that right to vote, is the local political groups handing out flyers. I myself have voted ever since I have been of age to vote. I don't always like particular contenders, sometimes neither contender, but I vote.
The hell in this country across the seas is far from over, and may never be over, but I can't help but think how brave these people are to be voting today. I wish it would effect more Americans the way it did me this morning. Our forefathers too fought for the right to vote. Women fought for the right to vote. Ethnic denominations have fought for the right to vote, yet every race, color, sex, creed has many people who don't care to use the right anymore.
My mother was big into politics so maybe this is why I feel like I do. I marched and carried my sign though many a political rally as a young girl. One sign I made even got me on local TV news coverage. My mother taught me that voting is something you should want to do, feel honored to do, and you have to do if you expected the right to bitch about whom was elected.
I can't imagine the turmoil overseas happening here but I guess it could if enough people quit using that right that was fought for by so many.

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