* Written while standing in an early voter line for two hours on Friday
The one standing behind you—she’s nervous and wonders if you notice her fidgeting.
The one in front of you—he’s desperately hoping he’s not going to be late to work. He can’t afford to be late.
That one in the yellow sweater—she just had a fight with her son. She’s practicing what she’ll say to him tonight.
The one wearing the Cubs ball cap is still riding the victory high. Gotta love that guy’s permanent smile.
That one in the floral scarf – she’s almost finished with chemo. Never has she been so grateful to be exercising her right to vote.
That new mom two rows over saw her baby’s first smile last night. She had no idea a smile could change her entire outlook on life.
Sunsets make that guy in the plaid tie weepy. Probably because his mom always pointed them out when he was a kid.
The gal with the curly ponytail is obsessed with that new show, This is Us. She DVR’ed it and is going to watch tonight.
The guy rubbing his chin is hoping to get some time off so he can take his dad fishing. He’s smiling to himself just thinking about the serenity of the water and their special connection that requires few words.
That puffy-eyed woman really wishes she’d had time for another cup of coffee.
The guy with the pensive look is thinking about how he could better organize this entire system.
The one staring off in the distance noticed her mother’s memory has been slipping.
The one biting his nails is thinking about starting an exercise routine to take him through the holidays. He’s feeling determined not to add an extra ten pounds.
She feels like she’s constantly pulled in too many directions; this long line is not helping the situation.
He loves to watch his kids sleep. The divorce has been rough, but the bedtime tuck in brings him unexplainable peace. He’s grateful they’re with him tonight.
She battling pain. It’s worse than ever today, but she is here. She is here.
He’s overdue for a physical. Maybe he’ll make the appointment while standing in line. He knows his wife would be happy if he did.
She’s voting for the first time. Her excitement is palpable.
Have you noticed?
We are more alike than we are different.
We all have similar longings, similar worries, similar fears, hopes, and dreams.
Yes, the details of our stories and struggles are different, but our desire to live a meaningful life is not.
The one about to enter the voting booth wants prosperity, freedom, and safety for his children and grandchildren,
just like you.
The one with her hands tightly clasped together is looking for a glimmer of hope,
just like you.
Smile at her.
Ask her how her day is going.
Commiserate about the long line.
Compliment her sweater—yellow is her color.
See the one holding a toddler on her hip? Encourage her. Tell her gorgeous brown-eyed boy how patient he’s being.
See the one in the Kindness Matters t-shirt? Tell her how much you love her shirt, and ask her where she got it.
Her heart beats, just like yours.
Her burdens get heavy at times, just like yours.
Her laugh is uncontrollable at times, just like yours.
She cries quietly in the car at times, just like you.
That father in the blue shirt will go home to his kids tonight. He will hold them close and hope for the best, as we all will. Because essentially, we all want what is best for our country and our world.
Although it hasn’t felt like it lately, we all want to move in a positive direction – to gather ourselves, begin healing our wounds, and walk away from this election stronger than we’ve ever been.
It starts right now, right here in this line—the line of humanity.
Where we stand shoulder to shoulder, flaws and all, hearts broken but still beating.
The line of humanity …
Where that one over there is looking for a glimmer of hope, just like you.
And maybe, just maybe, your smile will be the hope she’s looking for but never expected to find at the polls.
What do hope someone sees in you when you stand in line at the polls? We can learn so much by noticing and listening to each other. If this post inspired you, would you kindly share it with others? Through you, this message has the potential to change more than just the atmosphere at the polls tomorrow. Let’s flood the world with kindness today and in the days to come. Use the hashtag #WhatISawAtThePolls if you see something hopeful or make a new friend while standing in line.
If you would like a wearable reminder to choose love like the one pictured above, please see the ONLY LOVE TODAY metal cuffs, leather bracelets, and silicone reminder bands. My new friend in the poll line told me we can find Kindness Matters t-shirts here.
Thank you for being part of The Hands Free Revolution. I cherish all comments spoken & unspoken Together, there is hope.