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Imagine a morning in late November. A coming of winter morning more than twenty years ago. Just today the fireplace commenced its seasonal roar.
A woman with shorn white hair is standing at the kitchen window. She is wearing tennis shoes and a shapeless gray sweater over a summery calico dress. She is small and sprightly, like a bantam hen; but, due to a long youthful illness, her shoulders are pitifully hunched. Her face is remarkable, not unlike Lincoln’s, craggy like that, and tinted by sun and wind; but it is delicate too, finely boned, and her eyes are sherry-colored and timid.
“Oh my," she exclaims her breath smoking the windowpane, “it’s fruitcake weather!”
“I knew it before I got out of bed,” she says, turning away from the window with a purposeful excitement in her eyes. “The courthouse bell sounded so cold and clear. And there were no birds singing; they’ve gone to warmer country, yes indeed. Oh, Buddy (as she called the Author) stop stuffing biscuit and fetch our buggy. Help me find my hat. We’ve thirty cakes to bake.”
And so begins one of the few books that Truman Capote ever wrote called “A Christmas Memory” that describes his early years being raised by an elderly distant cousin, Ms. Sook Faulk. Each year she recognized the arrival of “fruitcake season” and commenced baking fruit cakes that she distributed to people about whom she cared. She recognized the characteristics of “the Season”: the courthouse bell sounding cold and clear, the leafless trees and the absence of birds singing. She knew that it was time.
There’s something to be said about the importance of “recognizing the Seasons” in one’s life, especially when that Season is so important, not only for you, but for so many others. We are in one such Season now. “Late November” will be too late to recognize the Season that we, as Americans, are in. November 9th will be too late. This November, even more importantly than the seasons of four, eight, twelve or more years ago, we must recognize the importance of this Season, for it will dramatically affect the future of our Country. We must choose the ingredients now, and let them rise in our collective consciousness before November 9th. Make that day a day of celebration. The Season will be over.
Therefore, just as the Baker must recognize the difference between “baking powder and baking soda,” we must recognize the difference between “love and hate,” and especially the difference between “democrats*" and "demagogues.”
Your choice can Make Life Good for so many people.
Recognize the Season.
* Democrat, noun, an advocate or supporter of democracy.
It seems like such a simple act - the act of voting. Yet, as many people know, very few people actually vote. What is sad about this is that our country asks very little of us. At one time the United States expected people to serve in the military when the draft existed. Now even that act of patriotism is optional.
Isn’t voluntarily voting the least we can do?
Our goal here at The Make Life Good Company has always been to “remind, encourage and inspire” people to “make life good” for others. But, once again, it’s hard to get away from the fact that, when we vote, we too can feel good about what we’ve done.
I like to observe the ways in which we are encouraged by others to engage in activities like volunteerism and voting. When we volunteer we are told that we will feel good “knowing that we helped others.” Yes, that’s good, but I’ve found that the reward is much greater than that! Specifically, I have forged great friendships and learned a lot through volunteerism. And yes, I have also derived great satisfaction from helping others.
When we vote, we are told that “your one vote can make a difference”! Yes it can. But even greater is the knowledge that voting for the right person can “make a difference” for many people throughout our land. That is where the true difference is made.
With that in mind, won’t you vote during this election season? By doing so, you will know that you have made a positive difference in the lives of people in need, somewhere in our country. Voting doesn’t require reciprocation by those who benefit by your decision. In that sense, it is truly a selfless act.
So be sure to vote in this political season and “make life good” for someone else. What a wonderful American right we enjoy, and responsibility we have!