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It's Really More Than A Gesture

I’ve been thinking about the big gesture.

Recently I lost a pair of reading glasses.  My favorite of all my five-dollar cheaters. I searched everywhere, even making phone calls to stores I had visited.

The only place I couldn’t call was an outdoor park, a half hour’s drive from my home. I was positive they wouldn’t be there, but it was the only place I hadn’t checked. So I made the drive.

Why? Because it was a gesture. Making the pointless drive was the only way to indicate how serious I was about finding those glasses. The outcome was exactly what I knew it would be: No glasses at the park. And when I got home, there they were -- sitting out in plain sight.

Magical thinking? Hardly. Now, going through airport security is a big magical gesture … a way to show the gods we are serious about not wanting to be hijacked on our flight. Does anyone participating in the security charade -- the customers removing their shoes or the TSA workers wanding our pant legs -- believe walking through the beeping arch will make us safe in the air? No, of course, not. But we make the gesture to show how much we want to remain safe.

Voting is like this, too. Looking at the total numbers challenges the idea that any single vote can matter, and yet not voting is much more significant than going in and doing the deed. Voting may be the most important, insignificant gesture of all, because not doing it is worse.

But you don’t need me to remind you of something you already know.

I’m Dan Libman, and that’s my perspective.

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