"There's not a Red America, or a Blue America, there's the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA." ---Barack Obama, 2004

Monday, November 3, 2008

Toots and my hair stylist: on Election Eve, it's all about them

Going into the last day before the election, things certainly aren't short on drama.

First, Obama's grandmother, who's lovingly referred to as "Toots," passed away today, hours before the election.

My condolensces to Barack Obama and his family...and I like to think she has a higher calling right now...somehow she's needed to help with tomorrow.

However, I can't imagine what's going through Barack's mind right now, and the strength and resilience he's putting on display. As if the road to Election Day isn't difficult enough to begin with, the guy loses his grandmother the day before...sheesh.

Be strong, my man...I know you are. We're all in this with you.

Then there's the story of my hair stylist, Brenda, who I've been going to for about 4 years now...not that she "styles" my hair, as all I require is a basic cut.

So...why speak of these individuals in the same post? What do Toots and Brenda, both who never met nor know of one another, have in common?

They share the same dream: to see Barack Obama elected President of the United States of America.

This is how I see it: Toots shaped Barack's upbringing and brought him to this moment to -- through a chain reaction, or network if you will -- inspire people like Brenda, who is a Taiwanese-American who was born in Asia and immigrated here with her family some time back, and finds herself now voting in her very first election.

Not only is Brenda voting in her first election, which was triggered by her registering to vote in just this last month, but she has engaged numerous family and friends in the voting process.
By educating them, she got them to send in their voter registration last month in time to vote in tomorrow's election.

...and why this election? Why now for Brenda? Why, in 2008, at this point in time, is she so engaged in the future of America?

Perhaps it involved a conversation the two of us had about six weeks ago about the future of America, the last time she was cutting my hair. We spoke of Obama and how we liked him, but in the conversation I discovered that she wasn't registered to vote...and with a bit of a perceived language barrier, or lack of knowledge of the process or where to go, she seemed a bit too busy or distracted to do anything about it.

So I decided to bring the process to her.

Following the haircut, I stopped by a library and put together a packet for her, with some registration forms and Obama propoganda that I printed from online. I even included a reader's digest version of the issues between the two campaigns as they view them, to provide both the Democratic and Republican perspectives.

A couple days thereafter, when I was passing by her work, I dropped off the information for her...I had no way of knowing what she'd decide to do with it.

It was only until I went in today, on the eve of the election to get my hair cut, that I found out the efforts she had made in the last six weeks, and all the other people she got registered to vote.

I told her the greatest feeling I have as an American -- as a free individual exercising my right in a democracy -- was when I vote.

She plans on going to her polling place tomorrow morning with her sister to experience that feeling for the first time. She expressed excitement about the prospect of voting in her first election as a free American.

I couldn't be prouder of her. LET FREEDOM RING!

Toots --> Barack --> me --> Brenda --> her family = 6 more votes for Obama.


Now let's go out and win this thing!!!

1 comment:

kimmus122 said...

6 Degrees of Voter-ation.