Quite awhile back I attempted to write a piece about the way back seat but couldn’t get it to work until now. For those readers who are somehow too young to know what I mean, let me enlighten you. The way back seat is not the one we think of in the SUV’s of today that have the third row seating and for that matter not even that rear seat of the mini van era. Rather it was the rear facing seat in the old station wagons some of our parents drove. Ours was in a yellow 1964 Ford Galaxy station wagon. Now a days, the line is “shotgun” as riders fight for the ride in the front passenger seat. Back then we would fight for that marvelous seat in the rear of the car we lovingly referred to as the “way back seat.”
We got two advantages when securing that seat. One, we were well out of the reach of the long arm of the law, dad’s arm. Two, we got to watch the countryside retreat into the distance from our vantage point there in the back seat. This usually, as we hurtled down the road on our way to some aunt or uncle’s house.
Now this is not a safety message or a “how did we ever survive our childhood” story, though the thought has crossed my mind many times since. Truthfully, we had ample opportunities to face our mortality without the aid of the way back seat, at least I did for all of my antics growing up. No, this is actually about the view.
As I have aged, I have come to realize that trying to fix our past doesn’t accomplish much more than regret. Don’t misunderstand me, I adhere to the statement “those who don’t learn history, are doomed to repeat it.” We must recognize the mistakes we have made and make every effort to learn from them and then to not repeat them. But we can’t change the past.
So where does that leave me. The view from that back seat was entertaining but it was where we had been and not where we were going. That view was from the front seat. The point I am going to make, is that we can’t relive the past but we can change the future.
On November 6th, we will ALL have the chance to vote. Regardless of race or gender, if we are of voting age, we will have the constitutional right to vote. Sadly, too many of us will be in the rear seat being nostalgic and will in fact, not vote. We will make excuses like, “it is too hard to choose” or “I haven’t got time” or maybe “it just doesn’t matter.” We will leave the decision to those riding shotgun to figure out where we are going. The truth of the matter is that they will take us where THEY are going.
This November 6th, I am asking you to vote, to make a decision in your future through those that you would have define it. You see, your vote does matter and it is your duty to see that it is counted. Sitting in the way back seat, waxing nostalgic, is not the best option. We cannot change the past but we can affect the future. Not just for us but for all who are counting on us, counting on your vote.
Go to the polls, cast your vote. I am willing to take the risk that you might not vote the same way I do. I feel that strongly about the process of electing our officials. But, who knows, if I am lucky, you just might vote the same way I do and together our votes and the votes of others will be counted and our future might just be a little more in our control.
So on election day, I invite you to ride shotgun and help us all figure out where we, as a free nation, just might be going.