Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.
~George Jean Nathan
National election is 2 days away and it's gonna be my second time to participate. My first time was in Mandaluyong where I used to live. It took me less than 45 minutes to find my name, fall in line and cast my ballot. As I handed out my ballot, it was a proud moment. I felt like I have done something for my country and for my countrymen. Voting is a privilege and at the same time, a social equalizer. The power to choose who to lead the nation is bestowed to many but not everyone is allowed to do. Inmates, underage and non-registrants are not given with that opportunity. It's a right the free people are allowed and it should be enjoyed fully. Just imagine how much blood where shed by our forefathers just to give us this right. Imagine how women from the past fought to enjoy this very same right. And until now, some people from far flung provinces would travel miles just to get to the nearest precinct. Now that we are all given that chance, we should at least be pro-active by showing our appreciation through voting.
I know some people who just let this opportunity pass like an unpopular movie and would hear them complain a lot about the administration. I think to choose not to vote strips you away of your right to complain as well. They would probably think that their vote is just one less numeric figure but what they don't realize is how important that one number is. You know how it is when your mom would tell you that 10 can not be 10 if it's less than one. Every single vote is important regardless of your social status or intellectual capability. Just imagine how much money and effort are spent by the candidates just to make one person decide in their favor. Just imagine how many lives were placed in danger to protect our votes. Thes things we can not quantify but we know that it costs.
To choose not to vote is not having a choice made. It's probably still a choice, philosophically speaking, but not doing something is actually having not done anything. It's like watching someone die when you could've called 911 or tried doing CPR even if you don't know how. I really feel bad to those who failed to register and exercise their right, especially to those who know WHO to vote for because they are just wasting their chance to do something for the country. It's like opting to be silent when you can have a strong voice. To choose not to vote is living passively in their country and watching it die.
Let's face it, although we could spend more than a hundred bucks for a Grande cup of coffee, our country is still in turmoil. You, me, and that beggar in the street can be living a better life if we do our part by simply filling out the ballot, which is much easier than scoring an Hermes bag. That Hermes bag can make you look rich but you can actually be richer if you help choose the right leader of our country wisely. The power to choose is much bigger than the power enjoyed by our leaders. So to those who will be sitting around comfortably at home on May 10, enjoy your languid day and whatever happens to this country after the election, stay languid because you waived your right to complain.
Have a very thoughtful weekend to all of us.
(photo from stylebible.ph)