Why what the President asked … is so important

This post is not meant for speaking on any of the following: recognizing the shooter, his actions, or the reason for why he did what he did in Newtown, Connecticut. This is an extremely hard topic to talk about, seeing as how I’m tucked away in another state and not a member of the community that’s been affected by this. The truth is that I don’t completey understand what has transpired and though I’ll read news stories for the next few days or so, I’ll still be left at a loss for how to react.

I feel saddened more than anything else. Saddened that this has become a familiar pattern in the heart of the U.S. A disturbing event takes place, the media explodes with up-to-date coverage, experts weigh in on what “went wrong” and then after two weeks of honoring those who committed heroic acts, the world goes back to apparent normalcy. It’s fast-becoming a reality that what’s normal was once considered to be a once in a lifetime occurence. And through it all, we focus on the past rather than focusing on the future. We wish to explain the past in order to establish a better future. The fact of the matter is that the past is over and it’s a new day. And that is where we should be headed.

After watching President Obama’s address at the Interfaith Vigil tonight, I felt compelled to reiterate some of his words. Rather than criticize the man, I wanted to touch on what he spoke of towards the end of his speech. It was the question he asked to all who were in attendance or listening at home: “why are we here?” It’s probably the crucial question to be asking these days. Not just as a nation, but for every individual residing within.

Why are we here?

Are we here to spread darkness? Or are we here to perpetuate life? Are we here to create confusion? Or are we here to spread the good news? The core of every human heart is asking these questions. But instead of asking these of ourselves when the terrible strikes, why not ask this question every day? And if we continue to do this, we can recognize what is important. And in doing so, we’ll be able to prevent the terribly impossible long before it even has a chance to occur.

Epiphany: The two most important things … going on the next two weeks.

1.) The Election

2.) Release of Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

Those are it. On the surface, the selection of our country’s leader may not have the same magnitude as a popular gaming franchise, but to millions of video game players around the U.S., it will. You see, they don’t know yet what they are getting, but at least they know they’ll have something in their hands when the release day comes. They’ll open up a casing marked either “Halo 4” or “Call of Duty”. They’ll sniff the new box scent; then place their new purchase in a gaming console. And within a few minutes, they’ll be enjoying a rousing game of capture the flag or deathmatch with other players from around the globe. It could be Halo 4 that gets them going. It could be Call of Duty that makes them happy. Heck, some kids may get both, but in the world I come from you tend to like one or the other (still talking about Halo or Call of Duty here, people). Sounds like politics though, eh? You’re either left wing or you’re right wing, right? I don’t know if buyers will be as concerned with their political affiliation as they will be with their choice of game, but I do know that each player has taken the time to decide upon which game is right for them. And dare I say it, it’s kind of like politics once more. You either feel one way about a controversial topic or you feel the opposite. The same can be applied to the video game world’s most sought after franchises.

At the end of the day for these players, there will be some feeling of gratification in knowing that their choice of game was a good one.

Comparatively, something else very similar will be taking place. We’ll head down to the nearest voting center. We’ll make our way to a voting booth; sniff that ballot with our selections upon it and then place our votes as any American has been given the right to do so. And when we leave, we’ll feel some semblance of hope that our vote did, in fact, mean something in the overall scheme of things. Our choice for leadership was a good one.

Ok, so back to reality. Many of us will think that our vote means nothing even if we go. And even more of us may not even make it to a voting booth because of that or a host of other reasons. Those that do will likely be making a vote based on the countless ads we’ve heard over the past few months. “I approve this message”; “Did you know that…?” and “Such-and-such is a liar and a crook” are just a few of the phrases that have been baked into the subsconscious of our minds. Like you, I can’t wait for that crap to stop.

What I’m hopeful for is that people will head to a booth and make a choice that reflects their inner self. What does your gut tell you? What do you believe in? Is the candidate I’m selecting reflecting those ideals closest to me? Please…please ask yourself that question.

Sure, I hate politics as much as the next person, and I could sit here and drabble on about empty promises or picking-the-lesser-of-two-evils but that’s not the point. The point is that whoever is in office will have some real say in what happens with our country. You have to understand that if you’re heading to vote this week. What you feel is right and what you think is right should be the way you vote. Simple as that, folks. So when the time comes and you make that choice, you won’t walk away questioning if what you did was right.

I know so many gamers will be feeling the same about their choice of Halo over Call of Duty or vice versa. Sure, they can go out and get the other game if they don’t like what they chose, but we won’t have that luxury when we vote.

So make it count when you do.

I’m a writer … and I approve this blog post.

If you’re like me at all, then you’re getting really sick of all the poltical ads running around the airwaves. In fact, if you’re any bit like me, then you probably shut off your television any time you hear one of those messages start up. When the commercials first started, I got really excited.

I mean, here comes another election. Get pumped up, right? Who doesn’t love politics in America? It’s one of the two things in life you can’t argue over and expect to win in one sitting. The other being religion, of course. Or maybe reality tv. Some of it’s fake, some of it’s “real”; apparently we’ll never know the whole truth.

Anyway, I’ve still found time to post something in the midst of all the chaos. Trouble is, the only thing I feel like writing about is this friggin’ eleciton. It’s everywhere. I turn on the tv and there it is. Obama says Romney supported outsourcing while Romney claims Obama outsourced too. So what’s the deal? Who am I supposed to believe? Does Obama have more credibility in the matter because he’s the current president?

Eh, not necessarily.

But do I trust the new guy who wants Obama’s spot (that’s Romney for anybody who can’t follow)? Eh, I’m not too sure about that either. I feel like an agnostic voter. Yes, I believe there’s an individual out there destined to be president but do I know who that is. Nor may I ever know.

See? Agnostic voter.

So what’s a guy to do? Well, start with the basics. What is most important to you? Are you someone who is middle to below median income? Then check only those criteria on the candidates. When you’ve done your research on the issues, then make a decision. Same deal if you’re really concerned about health care. Look for what each of these guys are doing and then make your choice. It’s really that simple. Be you republican or democrat. Sure, the chances that they’ll uphold everything, but they’ve at least got some ideas on the matter.

If you aren’t voting for one of those issues, then at least vote your values. What’s really important to you? Which one of the candidates represent those values the most? Once you’ve figured that out, then follow through on that notion.

And if you feel like neither of them represent any of your values and they’re both total crap, then there’s always agnosticism. Or Canada.