The Big Picture: Go and vote, change your world

By: Annie Sragner, Assistant Arts & Life Editor

If I were to give someone a microphone and ask them to complain about all the things they disagree with going on in society, I am sure many could go on for an extended time. This is perplexing because we know we have the power to control and influence what goes on in our lives and around us. This is a concept frequently forgotten and surrendered.

As you all know, we just had an election in Maryland. Voting is the simplest way to make big changes in how our government works, and it directly affects our well-being. Unfortunately, I am not the only one who noticed that not many people actually got around to voting recently.

I looked up statistics about our recent election, and many counties in Maryland had less than half of their registered voters cast ballots. If you voted, great, but I am sure you know many others who did not.

It’s really unacceptable.  You can’t not voice your opinion. We have the power to direct our society, but we are consciously choosing ambivalence, or the next “feel-good” thing, instead.

“The Big Picture” this week is not about bashing politics or adding my own opinion into the mix, I just want readers to consider why so many people, especially in our generation, are not voting. I want people to take notice and figure out why this is happening.

My interactions with fellow millennials, on campus and elsewhere, tell me that most people don’t care about politics. I get it.  It’s ugly.  It’s personal.  It’s petty, but why are we letting that hinder our participation in the process? 

I have faith in our generation and I think we are capable of great things. We are an open-minded group of people with good intentions and a strong sense of community, both locally and globally. I find that most people I speak with want freedom for themselves and others, but we cannot reach that without voting for what we want. Do you really want others making your decisions for you?

We live in a digital age now. The world is faster than it once was years ago with information passing through you faster than news stations can report it. As college students, we only have enough time to pay attention to the most immediate things. With this in mind, I understand why we don’t share our precious attention with the drama of political parties and such.

Many think our generation is obsessed with technology and that we’d walk into traffic before looking up from our social media, but we have to prove them wrong. We have a lot more power than we are given credit for.

The segregated bathrooms are long gone; more women than ever are running for public office; we haven’t bombed each other into submission yet, and the legalization of marijuana rolls on.  Why?  Because people voted for those things.

We have the power to make real change. Go out and make your world exactly the way you want it to be.

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