August 7th is international lighthouse day and Aug 10th 2020 is our national elections day. What does a lighthouse have in common with a country's elections? Perhaps Election Day is a lighthouse for our ship of state.
To appreciate this consider the two ways we think of a Lighthouse.
The first is distinctly Trini.
Nothing past the Lighthouse
"Town people" are notorious for knowing little to nothing about the south of Trinidad, indeed about anything past the lighthouse. I was one of them, and that was my loss.
This represents a sad lack of curiosity, but also a common fear of the unknown. People are afraid of everything from new foods to heights, snakes, air travel and clowns. But most things we fear become tame, even friendly and useful once we get to know them, and to get to know them ... we have to try them.
So one way Election Day can be a lighthouse is to remind us to go past it. To overcome our fear of the unknown and try something new.
The second way the two are connected has to do with the universal meaning of a lighthouse—as a warning.
At sea, a lighthouse is there to let sailors know that danger is ahead, and you need to check your course to make sure you're not heading for the rocks.
Elections can serve in the same way. An upcoming Election Day is a lighthouse warning us to assess the country's course and decide if to stay the course or change it.
That's up to you, but don't leave the bridge. Don't not vote. Not voting is like taking your hand off the wheel. That's like being the Captain of a ship and not caring if it crashes on the rocks.
This Election Day is the only chance in several years you'll get to set the course. Don't waste it.