November 6

Election Day

This election cycle has been particularly intense—from public interactions between the candidates and their party officials, to the mutual attacks by voters on each other that can be found all over social media. The stories that have resonated most with me have been those about people who aren’t planning on voting. This is a cause I care a lot about, in a very deep way. As a meditation teacher, I not only feel compelled to vote, but to emphasize the imperative to vote. It may seem strange to relate spirituality and voting, especially in a country where religion becomes the source of policy-related conflict during political debates. But the faith that I think about in the context of voting is completely non-partisan. It’s about recognizing voting as an immense form of freedom we’re given; we have the choice to participate in the outcome of our lives, the lives of others, and the country as a whole. Each of our influences on any outcome may be incremental, but it exists, and is a critical component of change. All of us, millions of us, are greatly affecting each other each day. By voting, we honor that connection. Voting is a privilege. It’s how we can show commitment to ourselves, to each other, to this country and to this world.
Sharon Salzberg


May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.
Psalm 33:12-22


Be informed. Exercise your right to vote. Make your vote consistent with the true values you hold.

Suggested Reading

Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.
Matthew 20-26

Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach.
1 Timothy 3:2

This is me, a sinner on whom the Lord has turned his gaze. And this is what I said when they asked me if I would accept my election as pontiff. I am a sinner, but I trust in the infinite mercy and patience of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I accept in a spirit of penance.
Pope Francis

Elections remind us not only of the rights but the responsibilities of citizenship in a democracy.
Robert Kennedy

For too many years, those eligible to vote in primary or general elections did not bother to do so. Those sensible centrists who do not go to rallies but care deeply about our country effectively silenced their own voices. That sent the message to incumbents that they were either doing the right thing or that we just did not care.
Christine Todd Whitman

Voting is how we participate in a civic society – be it for president, be it for a municipal election. It’s the way we teach our children – in school elections – how to be citizens, and the importance of their voice.
 Loretta Lynch

It’s not opinion polls that determine the outcome of elections, it’s votes in ballot boxes.
Nicola  Sturgeon

A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won’t cross the street to vote in a national election.
Bill Vaughan

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.
John Quincy Adams

It’s heartbreaking that so many hundreds of millions of people around the world are desperate for the right to vote, but here in America people stay home on election  day.