While I was scrolling Twitter the other day, I came across a tweet that bothered the hell out of me. That’s not a tall order, given (gestures wildly) everything that’s going on in the world, but this one really got me.
For those of you who are not in New York City and not particularly district savvy, the 43rd assembly district is located in a mostly residential area of Brooklyn. So while it’s not the middle of Manhattan, I am here to tell you that a LOT more than 14 people live there. And sure, it was just day one of early voting, but FOURTEEN (14) people?! It’s absolute madness.
I can already hear the trolls: sToP taLkiNg pOLiTicS fOcUs oN mEntAL hEalTh.
Here’s the thing. Who you’re voting for in an election might be all about politics. Voting at all isn’t a political issue, it’s a health issue.
When I meet with clients, there’s an inevitable wall I will hit with every single person I talk to, regardless of what we’re discussing in session.
It doesn’t matter if my client is heartbroken over a break up, angry about their job, or if their family is making them pull their hair out of their head. At the end of the day, most (if not all) of our daily struggles lead to a systemic problem in our society.
Without getting too much into the weeds (look out for a future podcast episode on this topic!), we don’t live in a bubble. So when I hear someone’s angry about their lack of a raise after doing hard work for the last three years, I can go only go so far. I can give them tips about managing their work related stress or strategies to have a productive (hard AF) conversation with their boss, but I can’t fix corporate greed. I can’t make it easier for them to quit a toxic job by separating their employment from their health insurance.
You know who can though? Elected officials.
The system isn’t even close to perfect.
It’s getting harder and harder to cast a ballot in this country. It can be difficult to make a dent in your schedule (or your emotional energy) to get out there given the state of politics in this country and the behavior of our current elected officials. But for now, it’s what we’ve got and it’s one of the more meaningful ways to make change.
Please vote. Do what you can to learn about the candidates, the issues, and please make the time to get out there when you have the chance. It really does matter. Let’s live in a world where we can talk about fixing problems rather than just managing them.