It may sound silly to ask if it actually matters who is the next U.S. president, the person who will wield enormous power and influence for good or harm. Yet I had an experience last week that left me thinking that I am spending too much time worrying about which one of the flawed people contending for the job will win.
Stay with me here, this will get back around to writing.
I attended a meeting sponsored by an organization called the Senior Information & Networking Group. This gathering of more than 50 people included many local organizations that provide part or all of their services to individuals in their senior years. The various churches, businesses, volunteers and governmental entities present were there to share with the others the services they provided.
The picture that emerged was that of a rich and generous set of local organizations and individuals that collectively weave a fabric of services and activities for seniors. Featured were senior volunteers serving other seniors, local businesses stepping out of their traditional role to offer something unavailable elsewhere, things like book clubs at churches, and government investing intellectual and financial capital for the population in question.
Yes, I know that some of all that is underpinned by federal money, so it does matter some who is in the White House, but no amount of money could buy the creativity and caring present in that room were it not bubbling up from the heart and soul.
And with that I am drawn to one of my favorite authors, Ambrose Bierce, one time Union soldier in the Civil War. He wrote not of generals and presidents but of the foot soldiers of the war, of untold and uncountable single stories of sacrifice and courage–and of folly and disgrace. He wrote the real history of that war. He preserved the stories that most deserve to be saved and remembered.
So I will vote this November, and I will donate money to my choice of the least imperfect of the candidates for president, even if the real story of my life has not that much to do with all of that.