You'll be Voting Today

November 26, 2014
By: 
Cynthia Coe, Justice and Advocacy Fellow, The Episcopal Church

You’ll be voting today.  In fact, you might vote many times today.  And just like your vote for candidates in your local elections on November 4, these votes count.  These votes are important.  

If you go out to shop today, you will be voting.  Just like your vote in a political election, your one little vote may not seem to matter much, but when all the votes are tallied up, these votes can change the course of history.  All our votes, added up together, can change the quality of life for millions of people – and especially those who live in poverty.  

Every purchase you make is a vote for something. Americans like a bargain, but at what cost?  When you purchase that perfect gift at that unbelievable price, what kind of take-home pay goes to the people you’ll likely never meet who produced the item, transported it, stocked on the shelf, and rang it up at the cash register?  Are you supporting them, or are you buying into a corporate system that enables production of goods overseas for a pittance of wages?  Are you supporting a system that burns off fossil fuels like there’s no tomorrow as cheap goods are shipped across the planet?  And do you and your loved ones really, really actually need that item anyway?  Do you not have enough?

There are other candidates for your vote. You might vote to buy a winter coat for a child you know who lives in poverty. You might vote to take a cake over to that lonely elderly lady who lives in your neighborhood. You might decide to participate in Giving Tuesday with The Episcopal Church and donate to build a Hogan in Navajoland. You might put your money toward a local charity that serves the homesless or supports literacy in your community. You might decide to spend your money on a pig or flock of chickens sent to someone in need by Episcopal Relief & Development and their partners in Africa, Latin America, or Asia.  You might even vote to forego gifts this year and spend your money on a nice meal of locally sourced, organically grown food as you simply spend time with friends and family.

Even if you don’t go shopping today, you’ll vote.  You’ll vote for how you spend your most precious resource – your time.  You might enjoy watching a football game with friends, you might celebrate Advent with your parish, or you might just take some time to work on your own personal spirituality in silence and away from the hub-bub of the holidays.  And that vote will count for a lot.

So let’s get out the vote – for respecting the dignity of every single human being on the planet, for resisting the evils of low wages and appalling work conditions, for seeking and serving Christ in all persons, all over the world.  Let’s get out the vote for loving our neighbors as ourselves as we continue to truly practice the apostles’ teachings, as we truly proclaim by example and by action the Good News of God in Christ.  

Cynthia Coe is a Justice & Advocacy Fellow for Environmental Stewardship, based in Knoxville, Tennessee.  

 

Learn more about participating in The Episcopal Church's partnership with Giving Tuesday by clicking HERE.

Tagged in: Public Policy