“Vote as if your life depends on it. Because our lives really do.”

-Oprah Winfrey

Usually, I post my favorite quote of the week on Wordsmith Wednesday.

This week, I’m posting Oprah’s words early. Before all the voting is done.

As Oprah said in a recent Instagram Reel, “Freedom is on the ballot. It must be protected.”

I couldn’t agree more.

That freedom speaks to so many rights that we all cherish and too often take for granted, like freedom of speech and where and how we worship. Freedom to choose who we love and marry, and how we address our medical needs.

And so much more.

So many people today feel afraid, angry, disenfranchised and fear they have no control over the ugliness that’s happening in our country today.

But yes, you do.

And the foremost empowering action you can take right now, is to VOTE.

Yes, your vote does matter. Every single one cast does.

Don’t waste it or give away your power.

Democracy is no joke. Don’t vote as if it were.

Ask yourself if the person you are about to vote for is someone you are confident can help make tough decisions that impact you during this challenging time in our country’s history.

Because it will matter.

Most of us would miss all those freedoms we so easily take for granted on a daily basis, if they were gone.

Make sure you voice is heard above all the noise and misinformation, too.

If you haven’t already done so, please cast your vote.

Claim your voting power.

Voting is something you can do for yourself and your family, and for our country’s future.

Vote wisely.

Democracy is counting on you.

Yes. Really.

Jena Hovey/ McShane Photography.