Using Your Voice

Today is the day the state of Indiana votes in the Primary Election. It is one of the later states to vote for the primaries and often times has little impact on the overall primary race. Not today. The voters of Indiana have an opportunity to not only make their voices heard but to actually add to the conversation.

In a democracy such as ours here in the United States, our votes are our voice. In order for our democracy to be a living, breathing thing, we must put our voices to use. Here are a few timely words from John Wesley’s journal, dated 1774, that may be helpful in this election season,

I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them
1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy
2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against, and
3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.

With that being said, the ways in which we use our voices matter. Here are a couple thoughts to consider today and through the General Election in November…

  • Your vote is your voice. Get out and use it!
  • Your vote is your voice, not someone else’s. Speak for yourself and your ideas, perspectives, opinions but not for an entire political party, religion, region, gender, ethnicity, etc.
  • Another individual’s vote is their voice. Allow him or her the space to speak for him/herself and don’t assume you know what s/he is saying before s/he says it.
  • Listen first. Talk second…or maybe third after even more listening. Voices talking over each other simply become noise. Don’t add to the noise.
  • Respect and celebrate the diversity of our democracy. Individuals have differing ideas, perspectives, opinions, passions, etc., and that is a good thing. Diversity makes us better as a whole and a much smarter democracy. Respect the fact that there are genuine, kind, loving, smart individuals who understand things from a different perspective than your own…and that is ok.
  • *A special note to my readers who claim to follow Christ…PLEASE: 1) Don’t say you speak for God, Jesus, the Church, or all of the Christians in our country; 2) Don’t be a jerk.

Now, go put your voice to use!