The power of one
I saw something online the other day that read, “The Big Lie–Register To Vote, It’s the only time you have a voice.” Although I agree that this saying is a fallacy that has been given more credit than it deserves, I think there are even bigger lies floating around our commonwealth.
Let’s take Grand Bahama, for example. Try walking around your neighborhood and strike up a political conversation with the first group of young people you meet. I can almost guarantee that at least one person in that group will state that they are not voting in the upcoming election. I’m sure you’ll feel compelled to ask why and the response will probably be, “They (politicians) don’t do anything for me” or “Me not voting – won’t make a difference.” If you don’t believe me, try it. Go out and get a feel for the general responses of young Grand Bahamians as it relates to the 2012 elections.
While the fact that one vote in comparison to the other 3,999 in a given constituency may be minimal, it does make a difference and saying that it does not is the biggest lie that we can tell ourselves. Your vote does make a difference and here’s how. On the island of Grand Bahama there are numerous politically disengaged young people. Cynicism toward and disillusionment with politics, coupled with a lack of acknowledgement by politicians, only feeds the despondency these young people feel. So while you may think that your vote has no effect on the outcome of the elections, stating this idea to someone who may be feeling disenfranchised can result in them taking the same position.
They will in turn transmit this misguided viewpoint to their peers. Consequently, this misleading concept then has a ripple effect and in a matter of hours transforms this mindset to the psyche of numerous disenchanted youth. Your one vote has now metamorphosed into 50 to 100 or even more votes that will not be cast on election day. So one person can make a difference, especially when that decision has the potential to impact the decisions of others.
Remember, “If each drop of water were to say: one drop does not make an ocean, there would be no sea [and] if each note of music were to say: each note does not make a symphony, there would be no melody” – (Author unknown)
We have to look beyond the cynical thoughts that limit our growth as a people and embrace the efforts that make us a fully functioning democracy. One person can make a difference and chances are that person is you!
Olivia G. Curry