There’s a short poem by the Irish poet William Butler Yeats about Charles Parnell, one of Ireland’s most famous nationalists.
“Parnell came down the road and he said to a cheering man: ‘Ireland shall get her freedom and you still break stone.’”
That’s the whole poem in all its patriotic glory. I guess Yeats only did the bare minimum when he was writing his blog. I could savvy what he was getting at, though. Basically the great man’s point is that it doesn’t matter what big political events occur; the lives of most people will remain the same, so it’s unnecessary to get all worked up. Good advice, that.
I was interested in the election and I followed it, but I stayed serene during the heated debates at school. Of course I cast my vote; I didn’t want to miss out on all the fun and hoopla, but I didn’t fret and obsess about my candidate of choice. I knew that on Wednesday, when the dust had cleared, my life would remain the same.
You’ll never guess who I voted for, never in a million years. I voted for an obscure third party candidate. That’s all I’ll say.
The day after the election, I was correct as I so often am. My life was unaltered. I still woke up at six, packed my lunch and went to school. At school, people were talking about their voting experiences and how ecstatic they were that their guy won or how furious they were that their guy lost. Some people cheered and waved American flags, others said “Oh no, this is terrible, the country is going to hell.” It was all very interesting, but I wisely kept my mouth shut. I could still remember the poem. It was so short and poignant; it was kind of hard to forget.