Tuesday, November 6, 2012

For Those of You Who "Don't Vote"

I was in China, 19, discovering nooks of old towns by day and drinking beer on the streets with Germans at night. The elections were distant in my mind. Looking at my choices for President, I was so disenchanted with my options that I didn't see a reason to vote. I knew several people who would vote opposite of me so they were going to cancel out my vote anyway. Then there was this electoral thing, where the votes were locked up by predetermined party members. Supposedly, if I understood this convoluted system, one could be elected President with enough electoral votes even if they lost in the popular vote. So my vote doesn't really count anyway. What was the point? I wanted to just disappear into the exotic world around me and forget about voting.

You may feel like like just disappearing into your world today...pretending you don't really matter...and not vote today. I get it. Really, so what?
You may not even feel like you don't matter, you just don't want to. I get that too. It's a bother.
Or you may just be pissed about what your party did last time and have divorced yourself from them. Not gonna vote until there is a third party? Understood.
You don't have to vote.
In fact in China, the young people I met didn't think they should have to vote. They had no problem with no electing their officials. Just like a doctor goes to school for medicine and takes care of health or a lawyer goes to school for law and handles law, the political party should take care of electing the officials. Not their problem. They young people, developing their minds and careers, need to focus on other things.
They can do that, you can do that.

There are two kinds of conversations about life that can be had, disempowering and empowering one. When you think about it's all a conversation...you know a point of view that the little voice in your head says, without you even thinking about it, the automatic reaction that occurs to us as real. It's not real, like written in stone, you have a choice about how you see the world and how it occurs for you.

You can look at it in a dis-empowering context...doesn't matter, don't like my options, too troublesome, not interested... all disempowering all not inspiring and do not expand you or challenge you. They do not call forth new actions which have you living life with aliveness. That conversation has you contract, stay small, play safe and check out.

Or you can have an empowering conversation about the election.
Empowering is a conversation that wakes up something in you, that stirs the immovable, that scares the "checked out" to check in just long enough to participate in life in a way that actually has you proud of yourself. It maybe hard, but you did it, you stood up and were counted. You can nod to yourself, even if no one else notices, that you did something to make a difference, even in in the smallest way... that is empowering.

You are alive, you are American and this is an opportunity. An opportunity to exercise a right given to us by ancestors who died for it. I know you have heard that before...the question is who are you if you are not willing to even vote for something? What do you stand for? You get to say what that is. You get to say who you are.

Today is an opportunity to be that vote that does, in fact count, and in extreme cases my be that one that convinces the House of Representatives or Congress to vote in favor of the candidate you see has at least one redeemable quality, in a tie situation,and to vote him into office. Your one vote counts.

Even if you don't really believe in one over the other, your vote counts. Even if you are tired and don't want to, your vote counts.

This year, more than ever, as a Californian, if you are,YOUR VOTE COUNTS. Prop 37, to Label Genetically Modified Foods, is on the ballot. This is HUGE. In 19 other states, the same step was attempted but they were bills (passed by the house of reps, not the people), and Monsanto, the chemical company that makes the pesticides that they are spraying millions of tons on, and injecting INTO, our food to genetically design the food to explode the stomach of the bug that eats it...that company SUED the states who tried to pass a bill to have their food labeled. They claimed it infringed on their right somehow. So they governors, scared of multi million dollar lawsuits and the impact on their already nearly bankrupt budgets, backed down.

Well, this time, they cannot sue each individual person, and we are the eighth largest economy in the world and we will not back down. WE THE PEOPLE, every single one of us COUNTS this time, not just for us, but for the 50 other states who cannot vote for this ballot measure. Your vote counts for millions of Americans. And for billions of people around the world who have already said, in 61 countries that they ban or demand to have GMO's labeled. Your count supports what they have created to protect their people. They are rooting for us. This time, instead of lollygagging in Asia, I am moved to tears by a man from Japan who is spending his own time and money to call California voters, people like me, because my vote matters to him. He wants Americans to stand up to have GMO food labeled so it is not a threat to his country.
We can help free the world from the controlling greed of a multi billion dollar company making chemicals that hurt mankind and the earth.

When I was 19, in the last minute, I decided to get a mail in ballot and spend 36 dollars to mail my vote from the US embassy in China. My budget at the time was ten dollars a day, so it took something for me to do that. In the end I knew I would be more proud of myself for voting than not. And even though I voted for a third party that I knew wouldn't be elected, I made up that my vote mattered. Because that was empowering to me. I slept better, I made better choices, I stood up straighter and I stood for something.

Today, if you have never voted before, even if you don't vote for President and you live in California, get out and vote and be the voice for millions of Americans who cannot vote to have the right to know what is in their food. Because Presidents will come and go, but our food determines who we are, whether or not we, or our children will be able to procreate and someday enjoy hold children as we have. Our food determines, how we feel, how we perform at work and in sports, our food determines how we grow and live everyday, and for how long we get to enjoy what we have and do and who we are.

Be the one to stand for something that gives us knowledge, power and freedom. Be the one who leaves a country to your children where the people spoke up and made a difference...
Be the one who stood for health, for a stop to infertility, breast cancer (rose 60% in the past 5 years) stomach cancers, allergies (up 265%), symptoms of autism, rashes and undiagnosed diseases...all exploding in numbers from inflammation, which is what GMO's have been shown to cause.

Today, if your instinct is to be on the safe side and not vote, consider, as a Californian especially, the safe side is to vote, and vote Yes on 37 and make sure everyone else does too.

Zen Honeycutt

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