Thursday, October 23, 2008

Obama, McCain, The Big Picture and The Little Guy

I live in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina. One of the great things about my new home is that they make it very easy to do my civic duty. I voted early yesterday. And it was a beautiful thing.

This election season has been all about the big races – presidential (of course) and the races for the House and Senate. However, I think a lot of new voters will be surprised to find, when they step into that polling booth, that there are a number of other races going on — races that they probably haven’t heard a thing about.

The truth of the matter is that it’s those lesser-known races that will have the biggest impact on the average voter. Want better schools? You will get better and more immediate results by working with the school board than with the president. Your mayor, city council members and police are the ones who will defend your neighborhood. Commander-in-chief has the whole nation to worry about. If you are concerned about justice, pay attention to the judges you elect. The fact is, the closer you are to the government, the more direct impact it has on your life. These are the people who can affect change. Yet these little local races are the ones we pay the least attention to.

Kind of sounds like life doesn’t it? We pay attention to the big and the flashy while overlooking the smaller things to us that make the biggest impact. You want to impress your boss’s boss when he visits from the corporate office but have no qualms with treating your co-workers like crap … even though they have a more direct impact on your everyday work life.

It plays out in every area. We go all out to celebrate an anniversary, but can’t be bothered to spend a regular evening with our spouse or even really listening to them when they talk about their day. We go all out with toys for the kids at Christmas but then we don’t make time to play with them during the year.

Years later, when you look back over your life, you might remember those anniversaries and Christmases but its those little moments, the encouraging hug at the end of a bad day or that game of hoops you played with your kid that will be remembered and truly cherished.

In elections and in life, little things mean a lot.

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