Do you ever wonder how the world got so crazy?
From bombings to shootings to live streaming death and destruction, there are days you truly wonder what is to become of us all.
Blue lives matter. Black lives matter. All lives matter.
Fear takes over and you find yourself standing at the airport, searching the crowd for suspicious characters and unattended backpacks. You say a little prayer when your plane lands without incident. You take in the big city lights and sounds, and while exciting and new, you can't help but feel somewhat uneasy. Part of you wants to just go home.
And when you do finally get back, although it was a nice trip, you just breathe easier.
Because you are home.
Home where you can run into Painturo's and see at least two people you know.
Home where you can take your laundry to Sparkle and they know you by name.
Home where your daughter can have a car accident and people you know and don't know, all stop to help her.
Home means safety.
Unless, of course, it doesn't.
Nowadays they say it can happen anywhere.
One week before the Dallas shootings, my family and I were walking the streets of downtown Dallas taking a tour of the sights. One week later in those same streets, officers were gunned down. The pundits and politicians take to the airwaves. "Take away their guns. Don't let the refugees in. Build a wall."
Everyone is so shaken by the chaos, but no one has all the answers to fixing what has obviously gone so terribly wrong. One answer that I do know, however, is that we all have a choice and a voice. And while I'm not the bravest soul, tomorrow I will make that choice and I will do so without fear.
I will take my ID and walk into our Election Commission office and vote. The lines will be orderly. The volunteers will be smiling and helpful. I will not feel threatened or under duress.
My vote will be counted. My voice will be heard.
Change happens at the local level first. Solutions are often born within our local government.
And while the carnage occurs almost on a weekly basis these days, at the very same time our country feels so lost, in our community I've seen local candidates campaigning day in and day out, their kids proudly holding up signs, their friends putting their reputations on the line to support them. Each of the candidates, those I'm voting for and those I'm not voting for, have my respect for putting themselves out there and wanting to be part of the solution because the times ahead will not be easy.
So tomorrow I won't be any less fearful about what is happening in this world. But I will, without fear, sign my name and enter a voting booth to do my part.
My vote matters. Your vote matters. All votes matter.
It's the least we can do right now.