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Your vote is your voice. Use it!

It’s less than a week until Election Day in Donalsonville, Seminole County and across the nation — and it’s a right, a privilege and every citizen’s responsibility to participate in this democratic process.
There are some important decisions to be made that will undoubtedly shape the future direction of our nation, state, community — and local school system.
But I believe there is an even more important impact that the November 8th election can have on each one of us.
That we vote, not how we vote, affirms what we believe about our voice.
That it matters. Or that it doesn’t.
Sure, we could reason that our vote isn’t necessary or seems insignificant. But it’s not.
Because if we believe that our voice matters — at the highest level of democracy in our community — it will shape what we believe about our voice in everything we do.
Regardless of what we do or where we serve, there are likely people we report to — levels of leadership and decision-making that happen “above us” — that we believe we have the power to influence, or not.
Likewise, there are probably people who report to us — people whose voices we will either empower or shutdown.
Every voice matters, in part, because we are unique — not more special than anyone else — but unique, because of how God has wired us and the life experiences we’ve had up to this point.
We each offer a perspective and unique way of understanding things that need to be shared — regardless of what’s on the table.
I’m not suggesting that we have to get our way, but that we can share our beliefs and convictions, and at the same time we can have respect for others to do the same — even if they differ from our own. We can do this — not because we think we have it all figured out — but because we care. We as citizens are invested in Donalsonville and its future. We believe that its direction forward matters and that we might have something of significance worth considering by others.
And if we don’t share what we think, what we believe to be true or best — and why, then who will represent our unique perspective and understanding?
Of course, this requires that we do our homework — that we know what’s going on, whatever the context — and that we’re prepared to civilly engage in constructive conversation and activity.
But to not vote — to not speak up and not let our voice be heard — is the lazy and selfish way out.
Our voice is a gift — and we live and work in a land where our freedom,  fought for, won and provided to us by our forefathers, gives each of us the right and privilege to share our voice and cast our vote.
So regardless of whether you think the upcoming election is a foregone conclusion or a race to the wire, to not vote will hurt you more than anyone else.
What do you believe about your voice? Does it matter? Does it count?
What do you want to believe?
What do you want others to believe — about your voice, and their own?
I encourage you to get out and vote. Regardless of the outcome — you’ll be glad you did.

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