To all my American readers - you have choices in life, and consequences of your choices. So please, get out and vote, and make a choice. What do you want your country to be, how do you see it relating to the rest of the world, and who do you think is the best choice to get you there? Or as sometimes in a close race, who is not the worse choice?
We've seen some of the ads up here, but not the barrage that has saturated the US. Which last minute emotional appeal will sway you? Which 'facts' from the last few years will you believe, which will you ignore?
Halloween was "choices" at my door Sunday night. I smiled, praised the costumes, but for a change, I held out the huge bowl of mini-bars and said "Help Yourself".
The reactions were interesting:
- some parents groaned in the background in (mock?) dismay and coached their kids to not take too much. Because they were worried their over-indulged offspring would embarrass them?
- almost all kids were surprised, some even hesitant at first, but I heard a lot calling out to their parents as they went down the driveway "he said I could help myself!"
- some very cautiously took one. I reminded them they could take another if they wanted - some did
- some grabbed a fistful of five. Two brothers showed up, the older was a fist of candy guy. His younger brother took two, and dropped one. Older brother picked it up for him, but kept it, and told him he didn't need two candies.
- almost all said thank you - a few coached first with a "you're welcome"
- no-one wanted them all. My sister (who was an excellent teacher for years, and an excellent aunt to my kids) is a choice and consequences person - when a kid asked her last year if he could take them all, she walked him through the consequences. She said he could (and she meant it), but then the bowl would be empty. She would then close the door and turn the lights off and no-one else would have any candy - did he think that was appropriate? He thought a bit, decided no, so helped himself to some and left.
I kept a tally, turned out average was slightly over two per kid - what I used to give out anyways.
I learned as a parent kids shouldn't always be told what to choose. You can't force them to your will forever, and it doesn't teach them that they are independent and valued people, capable of making choices. Let them make choices from an early age, starting with small non-life threatening decisions - do you want to wear your red mittens or your blue mittens? Next they might progress (as mine did) to the choice of whether they want to dye their hair blue or red. Then when faced with a decision like -do I want to join some of the other kids in a gang, and pick on some of the weaker kids because they are different, and have things we want - they make their own choice, based on their own values.
For some reason I seem to have wandered off topic.
Please get out there to the polls and make your choice, and encourage your friends and neighbours to make their own choices too.
Update - you can track the media election results via Media Matters for America