The Front Page: August 2016 Newsletter


Electing Our Lives

I spend a considerable amount of my time thinking and talking about the choices we say we want or need to make, and the forces that support or compromise what we actually do. There are certain times in each calendar year that often trigger decision-making: back-to-school in the fall, the end of each year, the start of a new year, spring’s new beginnings, birthdays, graduations, anniversaries of significant events, and vacations and holidays. What about elections?

I’d never really thought about elections in this way before, but there is a connection between elections and choice. To “elect” means the process of choosing. So, could we ask ourselves, “What do I elect to do with my life?” Gulp!

As I consider this awkward-sounding question, I sense a seriousness that startles me. It’s actually a little frightening. And it does not feel one bit like that popular saying people toss out, “I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.” If this is what we’re still saying, when are we going to grow up and be responsible for choosing what we want? When will we be ready to elect our own lives?

Based on my own observation and experience, there can be a huge gap between being ready and feeling ready. For many of us, we are already “ready enough”; we just aren’t convinced enough. Yes, we could prepare more and for longer. But wouldn’t you rather be doing what you’re still talking about? Wouldn’t you rather elect sooner than later?

In this election year, I challenge you—and myself—to think about when we are electing to live our lives.

With gratitude,

Laurie Mattila

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