08 Nov Dear Advent Community: On Voting & Choice
Dear Advent Community,
Today I will exercise my right to vote, an interesting task at an interesting time.
I have always been intrigued by politics. As a military child living overseas during the Cold War, I was hyper aware of what democracy meant to the United States and to others around the world. I have vivid memories from my childhood of the freeing of hostages in Beirut, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the genocide in Rwanda, and the start of the Gulf War. I understood that it wasn’t a choice to witness what was happening because of what my parents did for a living. We were impacted every day by the events we saw unfolding hundreds of miles away. These events interrupted our family dinners, our sports games, our playdates, and our holidays.
I watched my parents, my friends’ parents, my teachers, my classmates, and my community be impacted physically and emotionally by the understanding that supporting freedom could erupt into violence. At the same time, I also felt the love, the support, the encouragement, the selflessness, and the good in the world, as communities came together to support each other in times of need.
Now, from my perspective as an adult and a parent, I recognize that my parents did not have a choice in exposing me to the harshness of the world. I find myself looking for ways to shield my son from current events, and to give him a childhood that shows only the good in the world. I can use my childhood experience to help him navigate his childhood.
I ask myself questions like: Do I share the world’s realities in a safe space, one where he can ask difficult questions, even if I’m not certain I have the answers? Do I shield him from the soundbites, front pages, and the political rhetoric? I am mesmerized by how much he does know, how much he hears, and how much impacts him.
As I walk through our city hand in hand with my 9 year old son (who now will only hold my hand when we cross the street), I am reminded of the revolutions, protests, and fights for freedom that happened on the streets of Boston, events that helped shape our nation. I am also reminded of the inequity, the injustice, and the worries that still exist today.
Today I will vote with my son, for my son, for my community, and for those outside of my community. I vote for those who have experienced loss, for those without a voice, and for communities that feel overwhelmed by what’s next. After all of the votes are counted, we will need to make a new choice to support each other in whatever is next. This is not the end of the weight we have felt over the past several months but will be a chance to grow as a community.
So today: VOTE! Be proud of the opportunity to vote in one of the oldest cities in our nation. To step in, step up, and share your voice. Share your voting experience with your children. Encourage each other to truly learn with passion, act with courage, and change the world by exercising your voice and your choice.
Nicole A. DuFauchard P’20
Head of School
The Advent School