The air was thick with fog as we drove home from the gym. We switched on the wipers as we plowed through the dense, moist air. Water droplets trickled down the windshield. Signal lights glowed green, yellow, and red, enhanced by a ghostly mirage. Street signs hid from us, then stepped from the mist only seconds before we reached them. What lay ahead was blurred by the thick morning darkness.
At home, we checked the weekly forecast. The meteorologists declared that the hot air was departing, and each day would grow progressively colder until rain arrived this weekend. But today would still be warm.
The day brightened, and by midmorning the air had warmed. I took a break from the writing to clear my head and stretch my legs. As I toured the neighborhood, I passed more people than normal. Couples walked together, some holding hands, others clutching booklets. Ah, that was the reason for the additional activity: they were heading toward our local polling station.
Voting may be a privilege, but it’s also an obligation. Every year we’re presented with a list of candidates and proposals. We research the people and the issues. We know what the politicians say, but we cannot know how they will act. Even if they do as they promise, we can only guess how effective they will be. Will they work well with others, or find themselves sidelined, for whatever reason, within the political process? Just like the politicians, each proposal seems to have merit. But if it passes into law, how will the ensuing programs be administrated? What changes, introduced by these new programs, will ripple through our society? And how will those in power (those we’ve elected, and those whom the elected have subsequently appointed) react to the unintended consequences of bills that they may, or may not, have wanted?
Amid more uncertainty than knowledge, I voted.
In the evening, I did my best to relax, knowing I had cast my ballot, and made the best decisions I could. In doing so, I celebrated the privilege accorded me, and did my best to contribute to the betterment of my society. While I have less confidence in the rightness of my choices than I would prefer, I can breathe easier now. Who and what wins and loses is beyond my power to control, but at least I can get on with my life. Of only one thing am I absolutely, unswervingly certain.
I’m glad the hot air is departing.