I was astonished, a few days ago, when a writer friend told me she was fed up with politics and wasn’t going to vote in the General Election next week.
I’d known, of course, that there were people who felt that way – like everyone else, I saw the clip the BBC aired repeatedly just after the election was announced, of a woman in Bristol grumbling about what an imposition it was, being called upon to put a cross in a box for the third time in two years.
But as far as I know, that woman was not a writer.
Writing is a solitary act, but it’s about community; it’s about sharing the best of yourself with other people you don’t know, and trying in your own small way to make life better. Reading is about community, too. Hearing other people’s stories fosters empathy and understanding, enabling us to recognise how deeply we all share the experience of being human.
Dreaming is arguably an even more solitary pursuit, but dream awareness brings a deep sense of connection with all our tribes, from family and friends, to nations and the whole of humankind, now, in the past and in time to come.
We don’t only become aware of the collective layer of consciousness through dreaming – we also understand that just as we draw from it, we also contribute. Our thoughts and feelings, our beliefs and experiences, become part of that realm that connects us.
Voting is connection, too. We are privileged to be able to contribute to the wellbeing of our communities, by trying to understand the issues and make the best choices we can, according to our lights.
It doesn’t matter which way you vote but, if you don’t bother, you are missing a precious opportunity to care and connect in a positive way.
Every vote matters, just as every book in the multitude of books matters, and every dream in the dreamspace we share. Each one is like a drop in a pond; it may seem so small as to be insignificant, but without drops there is no pond.
If you’re in the UK, and you’re eligible to vote, are you planning to put your cross in the box?