Tis Dearness Only That Gives Everything Its Value
October 26, 2010
“Tis’ Dearness Only That Gives Everything Its Value”
As I wait for the day when I turn 18 and am allowed to vote, I am saddened by those who don’t take their voting and civic privileges seriously.
Last year I helped with an election campaign in Virginia, and I met people who simply didn’t care at all. It saddens me because, like so many other blessings in our country that are taken for granted, voting isn’t even allowed in some countries. The men and women in our country who hold office and make and pass laws, do so not because of force, power or family ties, but because they were chosen by ordinary citizens like you and (someday) me.
Throughout history, presidents and other political office elections have been decided by just a few votes. For example, in 1800, Thomas Jefferson tied with Aaron Burr for president and the election had to be decided in the House of Representatives. Jefferson eventually won the House election by two votes. Also, John F. Kennedy won by one vote per precinct in 1960. Every vote does make a difference.
Thomas Paine wrote around the time of the tumultuous revolutionary war between America and Great Britain, “What we obtain too cheap we esteem too lightly: tis’ dearness only that gives everything its value. . . “
Although I’m not old enough to vote, when it’s my privilege to cast one, I’m going to remember all those who have proven the dearness of liberty – those who fight overseas and those at home who “fight” with their words and actions. Of the different ways there are to lose our right to vote, the one I feel is most disheartening is losing it because of apathy.
I urge you to research candidates and to cast your vote on Election Day this November 2.