You don't vote, you don't count

DeRon Talley

Thomas Paine once said, "These are times that try men's souls," during the beginning times of the American Revolution. I repeat Paine's famous quote, but referring to the Nov. 6 election day and the campaign battle we see at the local, state and national levels.

It's times like these when your beliefs can cost you a friendship or a relationship. It's times like these when all of a sudden everybody's walking on eggshells at the job because of the elephant in the room, or donkey – just to be fair.

But, it's also times like this when your country needs you most and where you and I both truly matter. So if you get nothing else from this, I simply just ask that you exercise your right and go out and vote on Tuesday. For me, it doesn't matter who you are or whom you vote for. Just vote.

Those of you who don't think its necessary to vote because "nothing will change no matter who's in office," shame on you. So what if things don't change? But as least you matter, and you can't say you don't care if you matter or not because we all want to matter. We all want to count.

You can look back into your childhoods and reflect back on the times when you acted out for attention or to feel like you matter. Now, we all matter. We all have a voice and the right to freely exercise our beliefs.

One vote makes a difference. By voting, it says you are a responsible and productive citizen. It says you care and want the best not only for yourself and your family, but also for your fellow Americans and the future of our country. It shows you are proud to be an American.

Figure out what works best for you. Not what works best for mom, or granddad, but what benefits your household most. If you know you need apples to support your lifestyle best and make it successful, then go after apples. Don't squeeze a banana where it's a strain for it to fit, just because you don't like the guy who sells apples.

In all seriousness, I can't and I'm not telling you who to vote for. I just want you to make an informed decision and vote. It's your privilege and your right. It's mine too.