As I sit, preparing to study the many propositions and candidates that are running in our crippled State, I thought about my Grandmother who was an entrepreneur and maverick of her time. Born in 1900, she was at an early age, a widow and mother of two daughters, a professional who worked outside the home, an investor in real estate, and a strong and verbal advocate for her political points of view. While she did not march in any suffrage for Women's Right to Vote because of her youth (she was able to vote on her 21st birthday), she was well aware of the limitations placed on our gender. She treasured her rights as a woman; she never surrendered her right to have a voice or to chase down success. She used her voice and everyone who knew her had no question what she meant when she spoke.
Having and using your voice does not insure that you are right, or that you will be victorious or get your way. Using your voice in a responsible and life affirming way is a gift that only freedom can give us. It occurred to me that my perceptions of my voice and how I use it completely depends upon on how I perceive freedom, specifically my freedom. You cannot be a sissy and live in freedom. To live in a country where we can walk, speak, and worship without government intervention or dictates comes at a great price. Freedom does not mean "doing whatever I want." Freedom means taking responsibility for every action we take and being mature enough to live with the consequences of our free choice.
Less than 100 years ago the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was passed giving women the right to vote in our country. We have not even celebrated a century of our right to have a voice in our government. Women were persecuted and imprisoned for demanding equal rights; they were beaten and publicly shamed for their outrageous assumption that our gender should have a say in government. To choose not to vote today because it is a waste of time or to define it as "it doesn't matter because my vote will not count anyway" or worse yet, to be indifferent, is an insult and travesty to the women who fought hard to make sure our voices could/would be heard. I heard a recent comment on NPR that suggested that voting does not secure our victory but secures a place in history for change. Please make sure you vote this coming election. Give your voice permission to be heard.