I'm going to lose track of these numbers, I can just feel it. While I am at the task of remembering things, don't forget to check out The Insomniac's Dream if you would like to read what other people are thankful for or if you would like to link up in this challenge of stating what you are thankful for throughout November.
It won't come as any surprise that today I am thankful for voting. I almost wanted to write about one of the other many things I have already taken note of today like the beautiful swans in the pond near my parent's house or getting a good deal on gas this morning because I paid in cash or the great customer service at Boloco just so I could avoid being redundant and talking about the same thing that everyone else is talking about today. But when I got teary as I saw the line of cars waiting to pull into the local high school to vote, I knew I couldn't ignore the gratitude I felt for the democratic process.
I will not turn this into anything that even resembles a political message because I have found throughout this race that the spirit of conflict and tension rises (at least in me) as people put candidates down or make sweeping judgmental statements about this or that party. Frankly, I just don't like that. Honestly, I only had two political conversations this season that felt good, like we were all just sharing our points of view. But what I would like to say about the candidates is that I think it's an amazing testament to the growth of our country to even be considering the two candidates that we are.
Some might guffaw at the concept of Mitt Romney being in any way in the minority given his wealth and status but since I share a similar religious cultural background with him as well as a New England area address, I can say with a high degree of confidence that there have been times he has felt like the odd man out in a situation. Perhaps he has felt uncomfortable with those kinds of situations. For me, being a religious minority, even at times that I wasn't practicing my religion to it's fullest, is certainly something that has defined my world view. And I am proud of an America who, even though it was a heavily discussed topic and often the focus of ridicule, could put someone so "othered" in a position of potential power.
Clearly it goes without saying that Obama has faced very explicit ridicule and alienation as a result of his racial minority status. I am thankful that kind of messaging seemed to be less of a focus in this race than it was his first time around, or at least that was my experience of it where I am. When I think of all the people out there who still think in backwards ways or the even larger population of people who don't want to consider race at all and don't even understand the concept of white privelage, I am amazed at the country's ability to elect a president with black heritage. Amazed and proud because even in my generation growing up (not sooooo long ago!) and in one of the most liberal states in the union, I definitely got some messaging that being, in particular, biracial would (not just could) cause inner conflict to a point of detriment. I'm sure there's a smoother way to say that but that's essentially what I took away from it. As a part of an interracial relationship, it fills me with more hope than you can know that this generation and the next will get such different messaging and images of strength and power. My someday-children will know that they can rise as high as anyone else, as all children should be allowed to believe.