Since I turned 18 years old, I have always exercised my right to vote. It would be a crime in our family if I even think of not voting. Like most Filipino families, ours also discuss politics with much gusto but always with levelheadedness. My parents, though will always encourage us to vote, had never tried to influence our votes.
This afternoon, I was chatting with my 16 year old niece about Philippine politics which is heating up again as Presidential elections are less than 2 months away. I am happy that my niece is starting to become socially aware of her responsibilities as a citizen. During our discussions, I encouraged her to read more on the candidate’s performance, track records and the other issues. She did acknowledge that she still has a lot of things to learn.
I had to consciously stop myself from trying to influence her. It is important that she comes to her own choice from her own deliberation and not be unduly influenced by the media hype or family preferences. I want her to know her own mind and be confident about her choice. I, however, impressed on her the importance of her one vote. I do not want her to become one of the disenchanted youth who have their eyes trained on distant shores and not see what is in front of her. I told her to remember that it only takes one lone snowflake to start an avalanche.
So to all the would be voters this coming May 2016, remember that your vote is not only for your own future but for the next generation. Stand up and be counted. You could very well be the lone snowflake that will start the avalanche of change.