Instead of Voting, Live: A Comprehensive List of Your Alternatives to Election Day

Don’t vote today.

Travel to a new place. Travel to a familiar place. Leave home. Return home. Start a new job. Quit your job. Drop out. Opt out. Start a company. Start a charity. Write a story. Tell a story. Hear someone else’s story. Meditate. Drink three Red Bulls and work your tail off. Fast. Feast. Read St. Paul. Read Christopher Hitchens. Listen to a mandolin playing. Sing karaoke badly. Go swing dancing. Play that guitar you’ve had in your closet for years. Take a long car drive through Alabama just for the heck of it. Hike in the woods, even though there are some freaky big bears there. Conduct a scientific experiment. Eat dinner with your friends. Attend a symphony performance. Plow a field. Recite Shakespeare. Interview someone. Believe in something. Voice your skepticism. Call your parents and friends. Call out your parents and friends. Take the Eucharist. Give the Eucharist. Walk down an unfamiliar street. Smile and thank someone. Get mad at injustice. Help out a friend. Show empathy for your enemy. Strike up a conversation with a stranger. Celebrate a birthday. Remember your impending death. Make peace. Write a blog post…

This is life. And it also happens to be how your life changes for the better.

Life and positive change do not consist of a series of compromises. Life and positive change do not consist of a series of social media wars. They do not consist of a series of ballots cast, debates watched, politicians elected, policies set, movements joined. They’re not a series of false saviors and disappointments. They don’t require a battle for the control of your neighbor’s life and time and resources.

Corruption and evil will go on without you, and they’ll go on stronger with you. Life – your life – begins and ends with you. You can do a lot of good things. You can help to bring peace into the world, in spite of the war of politics and political control.

Live your own life and cultivate your own garden. You’ll spend the full length of your years just trying to know yourself, and you’ll still have more to learn at the end.

Starting today, let’s declare a truce so we can each get on with that great task.

Don’t vote today.

Big shout-out to Judd Weiss for this great edit of “The Truce.”

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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