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My Truth: Please, Please, Please, Please

By Cheryl Smith

I know what it’s like to be stubborn. There were times, as a child, that no matter how much I wanted to do something, if you yelled at me or ordered me to do it, I’d probably defy you. Just the idea of someone bossing me around was enough for me to rebel. There’s also my rational side. Ask me and I’m easy. No big deal. Explain why, and I’m good. If I ask questions, answer, and if you make sense, we’re cool. Prove me wrong. State your case. Provide a historical perspective.

Which brings me to my truth.

Every year of my adult life, someone has asked me a variation of the question, “how can we get more people to vote?” Now I’ve been known to have a vivid imagination and some of the gimmicks I came up with went from intellectual to illegal. This is after explaining, lecturing, begging, cussing, threatening, bribing, and shaming; all to no avail.

There was no persuading those who had their minds made up that their vote didn’t matter. Save the many stories of those who died for this precious right, because naysayers didn’t care. So as we move forward, the billion-dollar question still looms, “how?” I know what it takes to get me to do something. I know I want a better world, not just for my descendants; but for me too!


There are things that I do today that I will not benefit from and that’s okay. It’s not okay for me to not care about future generations. It’s just not right. As I shake my head, I just have to keep talking about the value of a vote and provide encouragement. I can’t help but think about all the negative things we do in life, and without encouragement. November 3 is Election Day. About voting, in the words of the great philosopher James Brown, “please, please, please, please!”

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