Lipscomb University is deserted on Tuesday morning.
The student center, usually stuffed with commotion, is silent. The parking lot, usually dangerously full, is empty. The buildings are grand statues without people inside.
The trees swaying in the fall breeze are the only motion this campus will see on the morning of November 6, 2018.
The Starbucks will not brew coffee for anyone, desks will be unoccupied in early morning classes and the Bell Tower will ring for no one to hear it. A bystander might believe that the campus has been evacuated.
The energy that usually covers every square inch of the University has been pushed outside and spread throughout our city and state. The Bison Herd has migrated to the polls.
For this limited time, Lipscomb will join together for something that isn’t chapel. Faculty, staff and students alike will have abandoned this small school in Nashville for something bigger than us all.
This stark landscape is the effect of Tuesday being Election Day. Our community is not running around in our usual stomping grounds, we are waiting patiently to change our state and, hopefully, our country and our world.
While some Tennesseans will sleep in on this fateful morning, we will as a community grasp the future in our hands and shape it the way we see fit. We will go to the ballot box with a prayer and a decision already made. We will not worry about raising our hand for fear of getting the answer wrong, so we cast a vote.
We try to discern the difference between statesman and politicians and hope to be right. We do not allow ourselves to sit in apathy – we stand in action. We return to campus covered in “I Voted” stickers and we sleep knowing we exercised this hard-fought privilege.
Does this illustration I have crafted seem wholly unattainable? It is if we put other things above civil duty. For one day we can choose to put deciding our state and country’s future above our own miscellaneous stresses and responsibilities.
What if we carved out time to vote for someone we believe will hear our frustrations and try to address them?
What if instead of complaining about bumpy roads, poor public education and increasing rents, we actually tried to change these bleak realities?
In our state this year, we have an election that is a “toss-up” according to multiple media outlets, and we have the power to change the outcome by pulling a lever on Tuesday. This year we are deciding who will represent us to the rest of the country.
We get to decide who gets to say “I am Governor of Tennessee” or “I am a Senator from Tennessee.” We get to change people’s resumes and all we have to do is show up and claim our right.
We can change the outcome of our state’s future on Tuesday. We get very few chances in life to know that our choices are making an impact.
Our decisions on Tuesday could change the course of history. But only if we aren’t apathetic and instead take action.