In the campaign season of the 2008 election, I remember being struck at a soul-deep level for the very first time at the wonder of democracy.
I realized that it gave me the dignity of my own opinion. I could choose to support a candidate, and my neighbor could choose to support a different one. Neither of our voting preferences negated the value of the other’s.
I could vote for a candidate, and I could retain my preference for them even if they lost. Their loss didn’t mean I was wrong for choosing to support their agenda. It didn’t mean I had to change my view. It meant I got to have an opinion, and I got to participate in civil society by voting my voice, even if the majority decided on a different preference than the one I held.
As someone who is a peacemaker at heart, I am thankful for the way democratic societies give each person the dignity of their personal perspective and the voice of their own vote. I struggle with American patriotism a lot (that’s a different story for a different day), but the accordance of dignity to each person for their voice and perspective and experience is an ideal I will always uphold.
How are you thankful for democracy today?