Voting: Sometimes a Child shall influence them;
Lewis Recreation Center; Greensboro, NC
Yesterday I performed the most powerful act that any member of a democratic society is privileged to perform; I voted. I’m not going to share all my opinions on the American candidates this year, we pretty much know it has been equivalent to Ringling Brother Circus and the presidential candidates have been performing in the center ring.
Yesterday I cast my early voting ballet. I had my list of candidates ready, two in fact, and I have also been attending political forums and had the pleasure or displeasure of meeting several of the candidates. Through other encounters brought about by political lobbying sessions in our state capital I definitely knew who I wouldn’t vote for months ago.
(By the way, if you’re wondering, I still refuse to capitalize anything referring to political positions or locations until they start earning my respect)
I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t usually vote all the way down the ballot. I never knew enough about the judges and city commissioners to have an opinion and I refused to guess. That changed this year and I thank the Piedmont Plateau Group of the North Carolina Chapter of the Sierra Club for forcing me through discussion and involvement to become acquainted with all our elected officials.
So with my decisions made I drove to the Lewis Community Recreation Center to vote. I expected short lines since it was the last day of early voting and everyone I had spoken to had already cast their ballot or were waiting for election day (I don’t care what Word grammar tells me, I’m not capitalizing those words either). I was wrong and I was never so thrilled to be wrong because there were at least a hundred people in front of me and more continued to arrive as I waited! Awesome! (The most overused word on social media, but I don’t care, it’s applicable).
But it was while walking from the parking lot to the center that a very important vote influencing event occurred. As most know; all polling locations have dozens of volunteers standing at the ready to give one last push for their candidate. (Sorry, republican party lady, I did not want to be rude but I had no interest in your list of candidates). Most of the time I ignore them and say a polite “No Thank you” to their little pamphlets because I had made my decisions at that point and I would just throw them in the nearest trash can. (This in all honesty is where I wish this entire election had been placed).
Yesterday, someone actually influenced me as I made my way to the center. He was standing at the edge of the sidewalk leading up to the center and he couldn’t have been more than 4 feet tall. At first it was the politeness of his voice that caught me and then his words tugged at my heart. No big sell, no party rhetoric, just one simple sentence; “Here is a little information about my Dad”.
The pride in this young man’s voice was unmistakable and it stopped me in my tracks and I took his little one page pamphlet and actually read it as I continued on my way. I waited in a line for about 30 minutes to sign in and verify my voting registration, and then another line for about 15 minutes to get to a voting booth. I had a casual conversation with the man in front of me about how powerful voting makes you feel but I continued to look at the little pamphlet and then I looked at my list of candidates and was thrilled to see he was an endorsed candidate.
Before I finish my story I want to clarify something in regards to my lists. Endorsement lists come at you from all directions during an election year. It takes time and effort to weed out the undesirables but as I say to people that complain about government leaders when they didn’t even take the time to research or vote; “You don’t have the right to bitch if you didn’t vote! “
I voted for that young man’s Dad, not because he was on the list which was a bonus, but because of his son. You can’t fake that depth of sincerity, the pride, the love he felt for his father. He wasn’t being forced to stand out there and hand out pamphlets because we all know when you force kid to do something they don’t want to do their attitude will show the truth. I truly believe that if you want to see the character of a parent, look at their kids. This young man was well mannered, confident in what he was doing and it was obvious he believed in his Dad.
When I left the center I wanted to say something to the young man but wouldn’t you know it; his father was there! I wanted my message to be for the boy and the boy only so I kept walking to my car. As I was leaving I could have exited the parking lot by the back entrance and not have to drive through the hordes of volunteers but I chose to exit through the hordes. I wanted one last chance to say something to the young man and as luck would have it he was once again on his own and so I pulled up in front of him and rolled down my window and called out;
“Young Tyrey; I just wanted to tell you something; I voted for your Dad today” (he started grinning and gave me a thumb up sign). “Do you want to know why I voted for him?” I asked. (He nodded his head) “Because of the pride I heard in your voice when you gave me that little piece of paper and any candidate that can raise a son like you deserves my vote, so you tell your Dad; one of those votes was just because of you”. He blushed from ear to ear, gave me a big smile and said; “Thank you, and have a nice day”.
Politeness like that is just too rare today!
The other volunteers stopped talking and were listening to our conversation; one man was grinning and that republican lady was scowling. Their reactions reaffirmed my belief that I chose well.
Marc Tyrey; you have a wonderful young man for a son and it was my pleasure to support your bid for District Court Judge. Best of Luck to both of youTyrey may never see this but I’m sending it out into the universe anyway because apparently he’s a pretty awesome Dad!
This is not an Ad for Tyrey, I just think he deserved some recognition as a parent!