I'm Not A Registered Voter, And I Don't Know If I Ever Will Be

I'm Not A Registered Voter, And I Don't Know If I Ever Will Be

My ultimate goals of loving others well, does not align with the culture that politics has created.

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My name is Rosalie Michael and I am not a registered voter.

Before you come for me in the comments, please hear me out.

I know how it looks. I know it's hard to believe that anyone that cares about what happens in America wouldn't be registered to vote, but that is certainly not the case with me. Me choosing not to vote doesn't mean that I do not care about the people in this country, for me, it is a pursuit of peace and respect towards one another.

So please, enter with an open mind while I share with you why I have chosen to exclude myself from the ballots.

From what I have experienced from politics and voting in general, it brings about more division and issues than it actually solves. Because of the way our country has chosen to separate our people into groups, we end up being pitted against each other. Instead of rising up together as a whole, we are constantly working to crush the other side. This is the death of progress. No unified front, no one body of people, but two groups working to do and to undo what the other has done. As a human being my number one priority is to love.

To do this, we cannot be opposing forces. We are one united body and we should not sever the handoff because it does not smell, or the ear because it does not see. We are to work as one whole, not one being better than the other, but respecting what each unique part offers to the body. It is imperative to learn to love one another for our difference and work to listen and understand. Division and pride stop this from happening, and that is not something that I want to subject myself to.

I don't watch the news. I quit flicking to CNN and Fox News after the election in 2016. That December the only emotion that I felt after watching anything on the news was fear, frustration, and anxiety. Not about the election necessarily, but about all of the horrible and negative things that the news broadcasts. Statistically, those who watch the news frequently have elevated senses of anxiety, fear, and worry. This even manifests itself in the "doomsday" mentality. This is when people no longer have a perspective about the bad things in the world. They don't see the bad and the good, only the bad, in a magnified way. By cutting out news, my mental health has improved in a drastic way. My levels of anxiety and fear have dropped significantly and as a whole, my life has improved.

The second reason why I stopped ingesting the news is because of the extreme bias that comes with where ever you consume your news. There is no unbiased news source. Because of that, you are almost never being given the whole story. Many times they are reporting the "facts" wrapped in a thick layer of opinions and spun to support their personal agendas. This is not being informed. It is nearly impossible to truly be informed in this country. This is another reason why I have chosen not to vote. I do not want to vote based on my misinformation, and be a force driving towards an uncertain end because of lack of knowledge about the truth of what is happening.

Effecting change on an individual level is imperative. I do not doubt the impact that voting has on this country, but acting as an individual to enact change is just as important. Progress cannot truly happen unless the people of this country are willing to personally pursue the things in which they are fighting for.

To truly impact the impoverished in America, you have to go out and make a change in the community. Help provide them resources, feed them, clothe them. If you believe in equality for LGBTQ+ people, you must also promote those values in your treatment of people and in the way that you do commerce around you. If you own a business, making it known that you are in support of all kinds of love. Acting is important. If all you do is blindly vote, who knows the actual effect and difference that bill is going to make. The only way that you can ensure positive change is to go out and pursue it.

I don't want to say never. I am still able to be convinced that I should register. In fact, if you present me your ideas and beliefs in a kind and loving way, I would be more than willing to keep an open mind and hear what you tell me. With the way that voting, parties, and the media are trending, I will not be registering any time soon. With that being said, if a change were to take place in the intolerance that parties show one another, the news and its biased nature, and the willingness for people to practice what they preach, then I would very possibly register and cast my vote.

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The Impact Of Technology On The Younger Generation

What effect will growing up in an “age of technology” have on the younger generation?
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By now, everyone knows what a prominent role technology plays in our society. It is nearly impossible to go a day without hearing something about technology on the news in some form, whether it is good or bad. Usually, these stories focus on the effect that it has on teenagers, since they are the group that is most heavily involved with using it; however, now, more than ever, kids and pre-teens are beginning to use technology just as much as teenagers and adults do. Unlike teenagers and adults, though, the younger generation has been raised with this constant influx of technology around them— they practically do not know life without it. What does this mean for them? What kind of impact will this have on them, both now and in the future? Overall, will this have a positive or negative effect on how they grow up?

In a way, growing up in an “age of technology” is a double-edged sword. While it has an abundance of advantages, it has just as many, if not more, disadvantages.

First, the advantages. The use of technology from a very young age helps in schools, due to the fact that it helps students want to learn, as well as makes it possible for each student to learn at their own pace. Additionally, it allows learning to become more interactive than it has ever been before. Kids essentially have the world readily available at their fingertips— if they want to know something they can look it up on the Internet and in just a few seconds have an answer.

Then, for the disadvantages, which many argue are much stronger than the advantages. Growing up with technology continuously around them, kids have a greater chance of becoming dependent on it, and become overly used to relying on it for everything. Among other effects, this can have a serious impact on their social skills. If kids and pre-teens communicate primarily through texting, social media, etc., from a young age, it is all they will know, and, as they get older, they will not be able to interact with others the same way they would if they were behind the screen of a device.

Kids are also more likely to follow what they see. For example, if they see their older sibling or parent constantly on their phone or laptop, they will do the same. Most kids today would rather stay inside and watch television or play video games then go outside to play. If they learn these habits now, it will be incredibly hard for them to break out of them. This will only lead to future generations becoming more and more introverted and technology obsessed in the years to come.

The bottom line is that having kids and pre-teens grow up in a world that is so influenced by technology has both good and bad effects on them. There is nothing wrong with their use of it, as long as it is balanced with them doing activities that kids should be doing, like going outside and playing catch or jumprope, or reading a book. There is no escaping technology— society just needs to learn how to use it in a way that is more beneficial than it is harmful.

Cover Image Credit: Ralph Nader Radio Hour

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Our Leaders Need A 'Time-Out'

We all learned a few essential rules as children.

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As I look watch the news, I can't help but wonder if the lessons we learned as children might not serve our leaders well. They seem to have forgotten these basic lessons. I am reminded of the book by Robert Fulghum "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten."

Watch out, hold hands, and stick together.

I think this could be useful in a couple of different contexts. First, the current divisiveness in the country doesn't serve us well. We are first and foremost, a part of the family of humankind. Differences in politics, religion, and so on come in far behind that one important attribute. What happened to the notion of agreeing to disagree?

Second, when leaders get off a plane in another country, they should remember who they came with and who they represent - "watch out, hold hands, and stick together."

Clean up your own mess.

Trump seems to take great pleasure in blaming everyone else for their "mess." The government shutdown was someone else's fault – any Democrat. When the stock market went up, he happily took credit, but when it went down, he quickly shifted gears and placed the blame on the Federal Reserve Chairman. Daily and hourly tweets out of the White House place blame on someone else for his "mess." Sadly, he still likes to blame Obama and Hillary for his mess.

Don't lie.

Politicians have always had a bad reputation when it comes to honesty. Still, the number of lies that we hear from Trump (and members of his staff) is unprecedented even for a politician.

We all learned these lessons when we were little more than five years old. Now more than any time in history I think our leaders need a " time out" to re-learn these lessons.

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