I know, I know. You’re sick of the election and all postings related to it. Trust me, I’m with you: I’m so thankful that no one needs to bother exhorting me to vote after today. I just saw a youTube ad for some movie coming out next week and all but wept with relief.
The results are coming in as I write; perhaps I should be interested in them, but my fancy’s been caught by something else, namely, how important stickers seem to be to the voting process. As all my friends filled my Facebook feed with notifications that they had voted, or were going to vote, or had been in line for an hour already, or were thankful for the lack of bloodshed in our electoral practices, one of the most common themes was whether or not civic duty had been attended by an adhesive label. At least five friends lamented that the polling place had run out of stickers, or simply didn’t bother having them. Those who voted by absentee ballot bemoaned the impossibility of receiving a sticker. Six or seven other friends proclaimed their having voted by sharing a picture of the sticker they received. Some friends admitted that getting the sticker was really their top priority.
It set me thinking.
Most of my compatriots on Facebook enjoy pondering and discussing politics more than I do, but it’s still probably fair to say that going to vote isn’t, in itself, anyone’s idea of a good time. Somehow this sticky little sign (not necessarily sticky enough to stay on one’s clothing, though several of my co-workers sported them all day) becomes reason enough to go take care of business, either because it is an incentive per se or because it signifies action and thus removes the ignominy of political apathy.
They’re not unlike the “Be nice to me – I gave blood today!” stickers donors sport. Some action has been undertaken, and those interacting with the donor ought to treat him nicely on account of undertaking it.
Perhaps there’s greater scope for these things. Maybe it’s been decades since anyone’s tried to bribe encourage us with some fanciful adhesive image, but it seems worth re-instituting if it can encourage us to plow through the Slough of Inaction and bring us to Getting (Rather Unpleasant) Stuff Done.
Just imagine receiving a badge of honor on submitting your tax return that informs the world “I did my taxes!” Or, at the corner garage, “I got my oil changed!”
“I disposed of that spoiled food in the fridge!”
“I successfully changed cable/internet/cell phone providers!”
“I renewed my license and registration!”
“I cleaned ALL THE THINGS!”
Perhaps you will protest that you’re an adult and not part of my system, man. Maybe you don’t need silly relics of childhood. Perhaps when you are filled with the certainty that a job must and shall be done, the satisfaction that comes with accomplishing it carries you through.
But I really think we could stand to have a few more stickers.