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Something to Think About: The Election Is in Our Hands

Op/Ed By Michael Vaughn


michael_vaughn2Several years ago there was a presidential election I was not at all excited about, and had literally felt angry over. I thought the person who had been elected was not good for the country.

Subsequently, I proceeded to talk about the situation to people around me.

However, as I continued to express my opinion to those around me, and even persuaded  some to agree with me, I realized that talking about my anger was not going to change anything.

And, it was then that I really felt impressed upon by God that I needed to turn that anger into action (actually, that is what I believe we can all do, constructively, with anger; turn it into passion, and action).

After that experience, I decided to learn more about the political process, and get involved.

I understood that, as an American, I not only had the right to vote, but my freedom of speech enabled me to express my opinions, in hopes of getting others to see my point of view.

I also eventually joined a political party, and ran for the Rochester City School Board.

While I did not win, I learned a lot about how the political process works.

My purpose for bringing this up is because, this week, I want to focus how we can look at “what’s in our hands,” to effect change.

There are so many people that are doing what I had done. They’re talking to each other about issues that make them unhappy, but they do not change anything.

And, while it may make you “feel” good, it does not make the change happen, that you really want. That is why I believe we have to use what we “have in our hands.”

We may not be called, or able to change the entire world, but we can change what is around us. Make our impact in the areas that we can, and then see the bigger picture eventually begin to change. This thought has been on my mind lately, with all of the information that has been going around this presidential election cycle. There are those who have a fear, if Donald Trump were to be elected president, Trump would be bad for African-Americans.

However, when pressed to ask how would he do it, or what he said that gave them that impression, they have usually had no answers.

My response has been, if you are seriously that concerned about him, then get involved to make sure he does not become president. Sitting around, complaining to each other will not impact whether or not he becomes president.

Another thing which has occurred recently, is that the teachers in Rochester have gotten another favorable contract, for doing what is less than a favorable job. Many people have been unhappy with the school district, and have complained loudly about it, without ever holding responsible the people who have made the decisions for the school district (we know this because they same people keep getting elected).

School board members can be voted in and out of office. People need to take that anger regarding the lack of quality education provided to their children, and mount a campaign against those in power, to get them removed from office.

But, it is much, much easier to talk about a problem, than to come up with a solution, and be willing to help lead its implementation.

We each have a God-given purpose, or, as I usually say, our “lane to run in,” and we need to be about fulfilling that purpose. When things make us angry, it can be an indication of where our lane is, and that we have an issue we should either be fighting either for, or against.

However, sitting around, and complaining to each other is not effective, and we have to turn that anger into action, in order to prepare for meaningful change that will, indeed, have impact.

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