When I was kid I counted down the days until I would be a “grown-up”, with a fervour and desperation I didn’t often apply to much else. But when I got to adulthood, I realised what a fool I had been to squander the days when I had no responsibilities at all.
The ‘good old days’ we called them. I mean, aside from the usual downsides that came with growing up (inexplicable metabolism changes and weight gain; a general grumpiness with other human beings), you can no longer rely on the older adults in your life to do stuff for you. Like your parents no longer paying that hefty phone bill you racked up casting your vote ten times over for a TV singing competition.
Your parents can’t tell you what to care about anymore either, because you start to find that you actually care more about things beyond just your friends and family. Like the future, having a career, and the state of your country. You realise that you’re actually a part of a society that relies on your small (feels huge) monetary contributions in the form of taxes, and your free will to vote in order to keep the country running in a semi “civilised” manner. Suddenly you find yourself with an opinion on the political candidate promising the world and more, or spewing thinly veiled hate speeches towards ostracised members of society, and you feel strongly that because you don’t like their speeches/ political partnerships/ untrustworthy face, that you will vote against their negativity, because why wouldn’t you?
And that’s your right as a citizen of a democratic society. You have the power to choose who leads your community and what happens to it, rather than having to float along in a daze and eventually wonder why the price of your frozen pizza has gone up, why you can’t get an appointment with the GP, or why you can no longer take a day trip to France or any other European country with as much ease as you could the previous year.
But with great power comes great responsibility, so choose wisely. Vote however you want, but get yourself informed so that you can feel good about your vote. Do have a say in what the future will look like, because it matters to you. Maybe it matters because you want to have kids someday and you want them to have the best future possible, or you want to retire in the best way possible, or simply because you like exercising your opinion. I mean, doesn’t everyone?
And vote because you can, when all those who came before us and fought for our rights to vote, could not do so themselves. Vote because you are in the world and deserve to have a say in what happens to it.
And most of all, if you can, vote because you feel it is the best thing for your community, for those who are more in need than yourself, and for a future that you think you’ll be proud of. That’s why I’ll be voting anyway.