Last night I, along with many others from my community, went to the local DMV office to vote. While there, a very interesting dynamic was playing out. There was a daughter that had just turned 18 four days earlier and her mother. The mother had already done the mail in ballot and was there in support of her child. Once the child was called up to the electronic booth the mom went with her. The people working at the polls told the mom she was not allowed at the booth with her daughter to which the mom replied that she just saw two other people at the booth and that she would be standing their assisting her daughter in getting setup because it was her first time. When the people working told the mom that that was what they were there for - to assist her in daughter getting set up and feeling comfortable with the process the mother brushed them aside and said she would be standing there. The mom claimed that during mail in ballots everyone sits around a table drinking and talking and voting together.
The interesting part of this to me was how the entire environment shifted in the office, and how many other younger voters in their 20’s-30’s responded. One person from the booth exclaimed, “this is my first time voting too and I’m figuring it out.” Another person commented, “isn’t the whole point of voting to be able to do it on your own and have your own voice heard?” While others were looking around making faces at each other incredulously. Was this really happening? Was there really a legal adult there, seemingly perfectly competent, being watched over and assisted from a parent? And, while the daughter was voting the mom stood nearby and the daughter would verbally ask about different things and the mom would reply, wow! Not only was this disruptive to the others in the room, but it was also fascinating to see how influenced by our parents and raised environment we really can be. Isn’t the whole point of voting to expression yourself? How is self and does self get defined?
What would it take to develop our own thought process? How often do children vote differently from their parents? And what is happening within our society that there are so many parents afraid to allow their kids to try something that might be uncomfortable for them? Are we in such a culture still where self-esteem is highly valued over a sense of self? Where it seems more important for a parent to see their child succeed rather than try something and thru the challenge of squeaking along awkwardly perhaps, yet on their own, and developing their own sense of self? Is this a thing of the past? What happens to our society as a result?
Things brings me to the point of this post - how many of you still believe that thru challenges we rise?