November two-fer

Posted on 06 November 2018 by JLusk

By Emily Rosen, M.S., M.A

Happy November, dear people. This month is always a two-fer  –  Elections and Thanksgiving. I was about to begin this with an exhortation for everyone to get out and vote. And then I remembered references I had heard about countries which had mandatory voting laws. And good old Google sent me to good old Wikipedia where I read several paragraphs about the pros and cons of it. Too long and complicated to go into here, but I strongly advise you to “do it yourself.”

The interesting long and short of it is that 12 countries currently have such laws on the book which they do enforce.  There are 16 countries that have such laws, but do not enforce them;  and 11 countries tried it, but subsequently removed such laws.  I do not see any such laws enforced in the foreseeable future in the U.S.A. so I’m back to square one, urging you all to make your voices heard. Feelings are strong on both political sides and this is no time for excuses or for stay-at-home gripers.

We constantly get polling stats which change with the wind and the only real way we have of knowing the true trends, and the actual needs and values of our populace, is to count the votes.  So, if you’re “mad – and don’t want to take it any more” – on either side, the best way to tell it is at the voting booth.

Whatever happens on Nov. 6, we will have 16 days to remember that we have so very much to be thankful for. Flawed and fragile as it is, we still have the freedoms for which most of our immigrant forefathers came to these shores.  Although there will always be people who struggle and suffer, conditions we are certainly duty-bound by our humanitarian values to reduce and hopefully obliterate, we are currently living in an economic upturn. Many of our young people have shown leadership qualities. Good things are quietly happening in small communities all over the country.  Families still get together for this holiday and, hopefully, will be able to peacefully, and respectfully, express their views on everything from the election to the Oscars, to the pumpkin pie.

There must be some karmic reason for these two occasions – Election Day and Thanksgiving Day – to be juxtaposed as they are in such a timely manner – with just enough days in between for losers to simmer down and for winners to finish gloating, but for everyone to remember that there is strength in unity.

So if you have access to sunshine, food, a roof over your head and a bed, if you can still listen to the voices of other people and music and birds, if you can still see stars in the sky and the green-ness of grass  –  or, if indeed, you can do even some of the above,  be thankful  that you live in a great – albeit distinctively flawed  — land of the free.



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