Voting and common decency


I attended Souls to the Polls here in Tallahassee today. I’ve never been to a Souls to the Polls before, and I’m sorry that’s the case. But they’re on my radar now!

Obviously with only one under my belt, I’m not an expert, but the most basic idea is to encourage church congregants to vote early, by marching to the polls on the Sunday prior to Election Day and voting after church.

There were so many soundbites from today’s event, but here are the two that made it to the very top of my list:

“This [election] is about common decency.” – Loranne Ausley, who is running for Florida Senate District 3.

“We can’t sit back and watch what happens; we have to decide what happens.” – Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Like many people, my emotions and fears are swirling right now about how Tuesday’s voting is going to turn out. Down ballot, there are people I’m supporting who I hope will win, and I’ve done my best to support them with time and money. If they don’t win, though, I know they are the kind of people who will still find ways to contribute to our world in ways that help it be a better place.

At the top of the ballot, however, I am aghast at the degree to which common decency has eroded.

*** end of five minutes ***

I’ve already voted, and the only way I know to try to make a difference is to volunteer as an Election Protection volunteer on Tuesday. If you have questions about voting, or if you have tried and been told there’s a complication that will keep you from casting a vote, please call 1-866-OUR-VOTE for help.

I was thinking today of the phrase “souls to the polls.” Although today’s event was at a Baptist church, the gathering of people and the march to a literal poll for people to cast their votes was an example of what we should do for each other, no matter the denomination (or if someone isn’t a believer at all).

Dr. Jill Biden walked in to “We’ve come this far by faith.”

I’m grateful to have a faith system. I loved the gospel choir’s singing today. I loved the speakers, including George Floyd’s brother and sister, who reminded us in no uncertain terms that their family member’s “blood is on the ballot,” along with other civil rights pioneers who came before Floyd.

We may not share the same faith. You may not have a faith. Whatever the case I won’t stop writing, marching, speaking and advocating for you to be heard. Common decency has to have a chance to stay alive.

PJ and Bridgett Floyd, George Floyd’s siblings. Learn more at the George Floyd Memorial Foundation.

Editor’s note: I usually do my SmartBrief wrapup the first Sunday of each month. I’ll do the October wrapup next Sunday; this week’s message needs to be shared before 11/3.

Welcome to this week’s Five Minute Friday. Our instructions, via creator Kate Motaung: “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.” (But I can’t resist spell checking, as you can imagine.) 


11 thoughts on “Voting and common decency

  1. Paula, I share your sentiments. We all have passionate views but at the end of the day, we must remember that we share a sacred bond. Glad you went to that event. It sounds encouraging and inspiring.

    • I’m happy to do it. Honestly, it’s a challenge — despite the fact that I’ll say pretty much anything in writing, being in person is more of an introvert thing for me. But being the eyes and ears of nonpartisanship and making sure people get to vote will hopefully be worth it.

  2. I’m praying for my brothers and sisters across the border in the coming days. Thank you for being a voice for common decency. For voting. And for volunteering!

  3. Pingback: Geniuses, a better toilet in space and more - Big Green PenBig Green Pen

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