Monday, October 29, 2012

Thoughts on the Election

Matt and I were discussing how to teach the kiddos about the election.  The obvious stuff like what is a ballot, a candidate, a vote...and then less obvious stuff like what should a president be like.  We came up with things like wise, thoughtful, careful, honest, peaceful, firm, fair and trustworthy.  

To be honest, I am feeling good about our current president...I feel that I can put him up in front of my kids as someone who does his best to embody those presidential characteristics while doing a very difficult job.  His policies may not be perfect, he may not have made as much change as hoped for, but I truly believe that he is a good man. He will have my vote, as he did four years ago...when Matt and I walked down to Grant Park with our baby boy to celebrate his victory.  I still believe that he is the current best choice for America- as I did when I sat with my African American students on the West side of Chicago and celebrated the inauguration of a man who looked like them.

That said, I am not "campaigning" for him too much in front of my kids.  It is humbling to look at the election through the eyes of a four year old who is not yet jaded or full of self-interest.  I believe you have to teach kids about politics in a way that first allows them to trust in our leaders and the democratic process before you introduce them to partisanship and negativity.  They must buy into democracy before it will be important to them; they must have a vision of government at its best before they can work to make that a reality.  No matter who wins, I want them to feel safe and secure that our country is in good hands.  

So no, my kids won't be canvassing the neighborhood.  They will, however, be learning about both candidates, spying election signs out the car window and GOING WITH ME TO VOTE.  The most important thing for us is that they learn to participate in democracy...and that they develop the wisdom to continue to participate in the future in whatever way they see fit.  

Happy Election Season 2012.  May we all come together to support our candidates but remember that in the end, the fact that we live in a democratic society where we have the right to debate, argue and VOTE makes us all winners.

Grant Park, 2008 with Matias...exactly 1 year old.

Dancing on the outhouses...that's the kind of passion we should all have!

Inauguration Day



  1. Well said dear. Such a reminder to get back to the basics and teach our children (and remind ourselves of the blessing of democracy!) I had to smile at all of those pics from 4 years ago. My life changed being part of HFLS during that election, inauguration, and celebration ;)

  2. Great post Helen! And yes, I agree with you both that it was so special to be in Chicago and working at HFLS 4 years ago!


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