Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Keep Your Stick On The Ice

It is election day in the US. We had ours in Canada a couple of weeks ago. On that day, I was working for Elections Canada as a Registration Officer. It was my job to fill out the forms of people who had not received voter cards in the mail. By hand. For 12 hours.

One thing I noticed at the end of the democratic process is that my writing hand really hurt. Now, I am all for the paper voting process. I like transparency and paper trails. I am the first person to say that if Canada ever tries to switch to electronic voting, I will be the first angry person on Parliament Hill. But would it be too much to ask for typed voter registration forms?

The other thing I noticed at the end of that process is that I don't actually know much about the people in my country. If you were to extrapolate the makeup of the entire country from the people to whom I am routinely exposed you would find that almost everyone has a university degree, many people have advanced university degrees, that incomes are high, and that most people are quite technical. Also, that almost everyone is between the age of 18 and 38. I was shocked to learn that that isn't how the country looks. I live in a bubble.

I don't know why I think it's okay to put a graph in my anecdotal blog, but graphs do serve to illustrate points, sometimes, and I think this graph illustrates the point particularly well. I think everyone is between 18 and 38 because in my neighborhood, everyone really is between 18 and 38.

The point is this: it's all too easy for us to get caught up in our immediate environments. There are a lot of people on the planet and they are all different from you. They all affect you, and you affect all of them, even if it's in minuscule ways. It seems to me you can only truly make a wise decision about how to improve the planet, and thus improve your own chances for happiness, if you take them all into account, in some way.

Anyway, just some food for thought.

To quote a great man, "Remember, I'm pullin' for ya. We're all in this together."

1 comment:

sequesthered said...

hey! weird blog entry for you, but i like it.