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.