Don't Just Vote!

Well. I didn't vote. Turns out I live a little less than a mile from the city limits. Even though I work in the city, go to school in the city, spend most of my free time in the city, and will move to the city fairly soon, the law says I cannot vote for city council members. I'm disappointed, because I wanted to vote, but I'm not angry. It makes sense. Instead of voting today, I will urge all of you who did vote to do more. Voting is just the beginning of active involvement with the world. There are a wealth of actions you can take after your vote that are capable of changing the world.

I've never been able to vote. But I possess a burning desire to change the world, so I've had to rely on other methods of effecting change. Though I can't wait until I can finally cast my vote, I doubt it will provide me with the same satisfaction that, for example, volunteering does. Here are some actions that you can take to make a difference outside of the ballot box:

  • Volunteer. There are countless opportunities everywhere. Here in Boise, I've volunteered extensively with Idaho Fish and Game. The work has included re-vegetating the riparian zones of Idaho's streams and rivers that have been decimated by cattle grazing, which is immensely important work.
  • Write a congressman, or even the president. Just pick an issue that stirs your soul and write. You can also utilize the resources of organizations such as Amnesty International if human rights concern you or if progressive politics concern you. Just search the web. You can find online actions everywhere!
  • Engage in grassroots activism. If there is some issue that deeply affects you, hit the streets. Some of the most profound change has happened due to people sitting where they are prohibited to sit or from thousands, if not millions, of people flooding the streets to demand change.
  • Discuss. Engage the people around you in real discussion about the problems that face our world. There is nothing wrong with open-minded discussions and arguments- they help us understand our world.
  • Be creative! I fasted last summer to raise awareness about the plight of refugees in Africa. Though I didn't actually change anything on a large scale, I did open a few eyes wider, including my own.

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