Election Day 2016
As I approached the polling place today, I felt such an air of pride. I knew I was potentially making history. But I was quickly reminded how important voting really is. By a Young Girl. So, regardless of the outcome, THIS is what I hope you think about today. Which spoke volumes to my politically and socially beliefs deep in my heart. And I wanted to share it with all of you because THIS is what our society can and should be about.
I vote at the local elementary school in a suburban area, but in one of the more ethnically diverse, yet poorer areas in the county. Many times, it makes me so excited to see the strong outreach and influence our schools have on our village. Today was no different. As I walk up the sidewalk, out of the corner of my eye, I see a little girl marching up the sidewalk with her mom with a big smile on her face. The electioneers who were standing outside handing out their literature offer pamphlets to the mom, but she declines. But, the little girl firmly stood there and looked up at them expecting to be given the flyer as well. One man notices her eagerly waiting and hands her one. She takes literature from him with large pride and simply says, “Thank you, sir.”
As they entered the school in front of me, I saw Principal and Assistant Principal at the door to the front office, smiling and greeting all of us as we came in. The AP said, “Well hello Larissa!” Yet, the little girl just kept walking with her bounce in her step towards the cafeteria. The AP repeated, “Hello, Larissa! You seem very happy today.” But Larissa kept going, with all of us laughing at her extreme focus. Her mom leaned down and said, “Larissa, Ms. X said hello to you. Did you hear her?” Larissa paused and looked back at Ms. X and smiled even bigger and responded, “Oh hi, Ms. X. We are going to vote so I am really excited!” I looked down at her, and then up at her mom because we were both laughing. I said to her, “Well, this girl has drive and knows what she wants!” Her mom thanked me and said, “Oh yes! I was already told that we can’t go to get lunch until we vote!”
Afterward, the election official gave Larissa a sticker and said, “Now your vote has been counted.” Larissa, staying sharp as she was when she first entered my sight that day simply said, “Well, not really today. But it will be some day!”
Let’s keep teaching our children to be this bright, confident, and excited to be a part of our democracy!