We are less than a week away from the start of the NBA season. We are two weeks away from something far more important — a presidential election. And beyond 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue you’ll have the chance to vote on who represents you in congress down to local issues on schools and much more. Things that impact your every day life.
Voter turnout in the United States is abysmal — unless you’re talking Dancing With the Stars. Then it’s great. But for the leader of the free world, not so much.
Kobe Bryant was one of those people who didn’t vote, but in a personal blog on iVillage he explains why that changed for him and how empowering voting is.
That’s a powerful feeling, one that I’ve taken for granted in the past. In the past I believed that not exercising my right to vote would not make a difference in who became the next president so why should I take the time to learn the issues? I’d rather be shooting hoops! The change occurred when Vanessa and I had our babies. Neither of us grew up in politically charged households so the issues weren’t things we were necessarily excited to read about and discuss to say the least. It was ESPN for me and “Carrie Fever” (Sex and the City) for her. (Yes, I watched the show and loved it… It was quite “informative.”)
As parents, the importance of the world we live in became a priority. Nothing is more important than the future of our little munchkins. They are now nine and six and are learning about the civil rights movement and the fight for women’s rights so they naturally have questions. Why were African Americans forced to sit in the back of the bus? Why couldn’t women vote?
The most important answer we can give them outside of the ones found in our history pages is that our world has CHANGED for the better because individuals fought for their rights while inspiring others to do the same.
First things first — I watched Sex and the City too and will defend that show. Well, not the ending or the second movie, but for the most part. I’ll stand with Kobe here. That was genuinely good television.
Not to go all eighth grade American history but…
We are a very lucky people — we get to have a say in our government. If a newly formed democracy on the other side of the world held and election and had our voter turnout the 24-hour news stations and talk radio would rip them. Rightfully. You can say the candidates don’t inspire you or that you don’t make a difference, but that’s not good enough. If enough people believe what you do you can change your town, your state, and much more. If you walk away, everyone else gets to make that choice for you.
Just get out and vote on Nov. 6. Then get home to watch the Detroit vs. Denver game that night. They don’t overlap.