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Behind the Starting, White Line

by Samantha Moorer 2 years ago in politics
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Beyond the Votes Ends At the Start

Behind the Starting, White Line
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash
By Braden Collum on Unsplash

The Scene: The runners are crouched at the starting line. Anticipation builds as they hope that years of preparation will propel them to victory. Bang! The gun goes off and the runners sprint. Their steps move without hesitation in hyperactive motion toward the finish line. Who will pull ahead? Who will fall? The race that started at the white line at their feet will be determined by who will be the first to break the ribbon across their chest. What lies beyond the finish line will be continuous euphoria for the winner and gratuitous disappointment for the competitors; both emotions intensified by the cheers of the crowd.

However, when it is time to vote, the stands are empty. There are no onlookers waiting to see the outcome for we are all runners in a race to certify national and local leadership. Those who vote are like the runners in the race, while those who do not, stand still at the start line. Even still, we are all on the field, suited up, and have assumed a position. Unlike a typical relay race where the winner(s) takes call, we all share the spoils of victory or the contentious consequences. My beyond the vote is behind this white, starting line. There is no organization I need to join. No group to donate to. No hours to clock canvassing, but my commitment to the voting process is lifelong. For decades, I have donated my time, sweat and tears canvassing for the present and destiny of our nation through the embodiment of the future… its youth.

Their vote begins way before they are positioned at the white line at 18. From their first breath, they are melding ideas, thoughts, and ideologies to make sense of their surrounding world. They are deciphering what fairness looks like, may ask why there is a need for justice when respect should be mutual as well as and examining their place in the world. They learn at an early age if being who they are, their zip code, the amount of melanin in their skin, and who they pray to, will put them at an advantage or make life more challenging.

My beyond the vote has always been to prepare the future of this nation to make their own decisions and to learn that voting is an individual sport with group consequences. Regarding the starting line, I draw it first in crayon, then pencil to pen before they cast their vote in bold, white paint. Who am I? I am an elementary school educator.

Step 1: The Crayon

The vote begins in the hands that hold the crayon. Children are at first given the leeway to draw and color freely outside the lines in an effort for them to be creative and show self-expression. Later, when shapes are introduced with their defined lines and definitions, they are required to color within these lines in order to create an orderly and acceptable illustration. I advocate a dual, colored consciousness: living outside and within the lines. This is loaded with values needed as an adult.

1. Being open to new ideas, perspectives and expanding your own thought processes.

2. Appreciating that all the colors in a Crayola box are unique, and without one, the box will be incomplete.

3. Even the broken ones can create a pretty picture

Step 2: The Pencil

The next tool after the crayon is the pencil. The pencil is a precursor to the pen with the key difference being the eraser. Children are permitted to make mistakes. They are seen as necessary for them to learn and grow and this eraser allows them to look, learn, and redo. Such should be our lives as voters and people. We often seal our opinions and thoughts with permanent markers and are unwilling to stop, learn, and change perspectives. Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, does your vote always have to be solely red or blue? Can you vote across party lines if there is a candidate that speaks to you and your beliefs? Teaching children that it is ok to erase and switch courses will lead to adults who are not afraid to challenge and change their mindsets.

Step 3: The Pen

While the eraser on the pencil is a powerful thing, the pen does what the pencil can not do: ink the signature. On every ballot or official paperwork, you are asked to write your signature. That signifies your free will and choice as it represents you and your values. Often in school, students will write several first drafts in pencil and their published presentation in blue or black pen. The final product is a representation of what they view as their best. Likewise, first teaching students to evaluate and re-evaluate, will lead to adults who do not rely on impulsivity to make their decisions on issues and candidates, but their final say will be a ballot sent in thought and reflection.

By Jennifer Griffin on Unsplash

Beyond the Classroom to the Vote: Lessons

1. The Crayon: To live and dream in color, with color, and appreciating all

colors.

2. The Pencil: Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them. There

are do overs.

3. The Pen: Make sure before you ink your name, you are fully informed

and evaluative of who you are and what you support

*4. The White Line =the Crayon + the Pencil+ the Pen multiplied by the

Passion to influence the positive direction of this nation.

Consequently, I am building my beyond the vote to last beyond

my lifetime.

politics

About the author

Samantha Moorer

To Inspire. To Inform. To Free...a reader into a world of wonder, second thoughts, and the imagination. Hello, my name is Samantha and I am an educator by day and penned crusader by night.

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