Pericles (495-429BCE) was a Greek statesman, orator, and general. Today he is mostly remembered for his orations and quotability. Among those quotes: "Time is the wisest counselor of all." "Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you." "The secret of democracy is courage." There are scores of other memorable bits of wisdom attributed to Pericles. These three will do for this memo. As it comes just a week before our 2018 elections, I find them instructive. Our decisions in the voting booth will impact everyone. Those who vote will make a difference for themselves and for all those who don't vote, also. Note the second quote above. The taxes we pay, where we shop, the speed we drive, the air we breathe, the food we eat...Everything we do will be impacted by political decisions authorized by the persons we elect to office. Town councils, school boards, state legislators, United States senators, et. al. These representatives will do their jobs whether we take notice or not. And we will celebrate or rue the day. Maybe we'll do both. Our democracy is not without its deficits. But it is ours. And we make it what it is by voting and by not voting. To vote is our right and to do it with thought and purpose and conviction requires the courage about which Pericles wrote 24 centuries ago. And time, "the wisest counselor of all" will tell whether our votes were reactive and small minded or wise and courageous.
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