I can't help it, every time I'm out in nature, I pick up the trash. A tiny candy wrapper here, a garbage bag left behind there. I pick up the trash because I love the earth! When I go to my river and see the piles of trash left behind by people who don't live here, I feel such ownership and even though I didn't leave it behind, I take the time to throw it away, because I want to come here for years and years to come.
One day, I'll never forget, I was walking beside the ocean and bent down to pick up a small wrapper from the ground. I put it in my pocket and thought nothing of it until someone who was passing by sneered at me and said " Do you really think you picking up that wrapper is going to make a difference?"
I was so stunned. OF COURSE IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE! Can't you see?! There is one less wrapper on this beautiful beach. Sure they'll be other wrappers and so I will keep picking them up.
I'm not politically minded. I don't grasp or understand all the ins and outs of how things work in this inner circle, but I've tried to stretch myself to research and learn about the options I have to vote for.
This year I'm voting for Gary Johnson (Libertarian Candidate) for president. And just as when I picked up that small wrapper from the beach, I have been sneered at and told "Don't you know, your vote isn't going to make a difference." or even worse, "Don't know you that you are endangering our country by giving your vote to (fill in the blank)?!"
Well, I refuse to make my vote based on fear. I REFUSE! I happen to believe that no matter what I vote or who wins, that we will be ok-ish.
Yes. Most likely Gary won't win the election by a landslide (thank you antiquated system and media monopoly), but maybe just maybe, enough people will step outside of what is comfortable and not be shamed or scared into their vote. Every time I see a trusted, smart friend say they are voting for Gary Johnson, I feel just a little bit more like sticking it out. Maybe we all just need to stop being bullied and stand up for ourselves and our wishes. Maybe next election people will talk about how a third party candidate actually got pretty close and maybe next election more people will vote without fear.
Because how will any progress ever be made? How has any change or progress ever been made? It's been made by people who refuse to believe the lies that they don't matter.
Because I cannot, I will not be told that picking up a piece of trash doesn't matter and I will not be told that my vote doesn't matter. Because believing that makes me apathetic and I loose a feeling of ownership and responsibility and I frankly don't really want to live in a world, in a country that makes me feel that way.
And so I will keep my head down and I will keep picking up the wrappers so that many years from now my children will be glad that I did.