What do we value these days? Just about everything we hear or read indicates that we value – ourselves, our time, our rights (or what we believe to be our rights.) We value our privacy and our property. – Evidently, we value ‘our-selfies.’
We put a greater value on those things that require some sacrifice, things we have had to work hard for or have had to until we have earned enough to purchase. We don’t place as much value on those things that don’t cost us much. When things are in ample supply, they are easier to get and decrease in value. Devaluation of just about everything is pretty standard these days. We see it in children, in teens, and when we do, it is likely we have learned the undesirable traits from adults.
Does anyone remember ‘blue laws’? I remember when businesses were not open on Sunday, I was not aware there was a name for it. Slowly but surely the sacredness of the sabbath devolved into just another day to watch sports – whether it is youth sports at the local park or the NFL on television. What started with the occasional playoff game on a Sunday afternoon has become a weekly ritual. They became just another day. They have become ordinary.
The first Tuesday in November used to be a ‘special’ day. It was the day designated to hold the elections that choose the men and women who we want to run our nation. In 1845, Congress established the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November as ‘election day.’ It was chosen for specific reasons relevant to the time. It was to accommodate those who had to travel from their farmlands into the city so they would not have to start their travels on Sunday. They were practical reasons and it has served us well for the years since.
That is until there was a large voter turn out a few years back. Claims of ‘disenfranchisement’ were made by those who did not get to vote by the time the poles closed. There are remedies for this issue. Extending the pole hours on election day (if necessary) or making more precinct locations available are two logical solutions. But there are those who feel that, today, (when travel is not nearly as challenging as it was in the 1800’s) we need an entire month of voting. Not an additional day or two, but an entire month. We also have absentee voting available. Voting was to begin October 1st in Ohio but a SCOTUS stay held off voting until October 7th. Many more states have appealed early voting laws as well.
I know when that Tuesday in November is by simply looking at the calendar. It is important enough to me to make sure that I get there. Whether I must arrive late or leave early from work, I will cast my ballot. The right and privilege to elect public officials and vote on issues is valuable to me – so is my right to worship… that is why I make the effort to exercise this precious right each week.