Yesterday was an “election” day here in Harris county. It was a strange election because no one was up for election – at least out in Katy where I live. The ballot was a list of bond proposals and propositions. I was interested primary interested in Prop 15 which created $3B for cancer research.While I was in my local polling place, a young Hispanic woman came in. She has recently passed a citizenship test and registered to vote. The only problem was that she hadn’t registered soon enough to vote today. The volunteer had to tell her that she couldn’t vote today, but tried to get her excited about the fact that she could vote in the next primary and the next election.The young woman left disappointed!It was amazing. I felt bad for her. At the same time, I thought what an amazing country we live in where we get to vote. And for all the political nonsense that we have to deal with, there are still people who are excited about the promise of America, and look forward to voting.
In the same way, my wife and I interviewed a woman to become our house-keeper Monday (We’re not rich, just busy with two kids and a house we can’t quite keep up with). She, too, is Hispanic and doesn’t speak much English. She brought her 9-year-old daughter with her to translate. We found her through the Christian Community Service Center, a ministry that is a partner with our church. At CCSC, people are offered job training and learn skills that move them toward independence. The woman we interviewed brought her graduation certificate from CCSC with her. Here she was, an independent contractor, making her own hours, working with whom she wants to work with and is, in some ways, her own boss.
I don’t typically get Star-Spangled-Banner-Eyed, but both these events reminded me of the opportunity America can provide. Yes, there are problems in our country, but I can’t think of many places, that with a little help (and we ALL need a little help), just about anyone can follow their dreams and make a life for themselves.