I reluctantly voted. I did not want to, but have read over and over by Priests and Bishops that it is my "obligation." I respectfully disagree because for that to be true I would first have to acknowledge our government as a legitimate authority (which I've been wrestling with for quite some time). And while I was quite undecided as to what I'd do until very recently, I gave in and "exercised my right" as the people say.
No matter the outcome of this, or any, election, our hope is not and should never be in government or its leaders. As human beings, we ought to do what we can to love our neighbor without government intervention. Government simply cannot take the place of people loving & serving one another, and to think that it can is a prevalent and dangerous thought into today's society. All our government does is steal, use the threat of violence to accomplish its agendas, and feed the deadly sin of envy. All under the lie of "for the people."
So how can we, despite the downward path of our nation (which is most likely to continue), still work for a better society?
- Have thought-provoking conversations with others and learn to think critically. Most of us are very good at being proud, opinionated, and emotion-driven, which keeps us from seeking truth. (I am terribly guilty of this, but thankfully have a wonderful husband who has been helping me grow in this regard.)
- Give charitably to individuals & organizations that you believe you ought to support. (And how much more so could we all do this without the government stealing our resources and using them immorally?!) Take away the government's "social policies" (which often do far more harm than good) and it is still our moral obligation to serve others according to the gifts God has given us.
- Engage in community! Families, churches, neighborhoods, schools (private ones, homeschooling co-ops, universities, etc.) - beautiful support systems that help us grow and live fruitful lives. Good relationships will lead to a better society.
- Do honest work. Work in business, education, healthcare, whatever. Stay at home with your kids raising little humans. But do it earnestly, and have enough courage to turn away from corruption and evil when confronted with it.
- Love your neighbor. Yes, it's great to care for those in need all around the world. But we often do so and neglect our next-door neighbor. Your co-worker having a rough day. The homeless person you drive by everyday on your commute. The cashier at the grocery store. Extend kindness to the people God has placed in front of you and make real connections.
- Care for the vulnerable. There are many among us who need our care in a profound way. Lend some help to the expectant mother who is faced with a tough road ahead of her. Show generosity to the poor in ways that you are able. Look after the elderly and disabled. Peacefully advocate for the lives of the unborn. There are so many people often overlooked that could use our attention. And be genuine - grow in virtue and see all of these individuals as valuable parts of our lives.
- Pray! Maybe you don't believe in God or the efficacy of prayer. I still think this is by far the most important. Pray for conversion of hearts to the truth. When everyone's heart is converted, then maybe we won't be so naive as to think we need select men & women lording over us and directing our actions.
May God have mercy on us all. The world, our country, our neighbors, ourselves. God's goodness will still reign no matter the craziness we see happening. Christ is the Victor. God bless!