On elections, purpose and flow

by Joanna Pieters | Follow her on Facebook here

I’ve just got back from the polling station, on the first warm evening of the year, voting in our next Mayor of London and local representatives. After a day of frustrating work, I’m experiencing a sense of ease for the first time.

There’s a curiously calm sense of focus about walking through the residential streets at dusk towards the lit school building. In the twilight came a steady, gentle flow of people whose paths perhaps rarely cross: the elderly man with the stick; the student in the hijab, the middle-aged couple strolling hand-in-hand, the mother and daughters arriving together.

One of the universal elements in flow is a sense of purpose. That for me was strong, tonight, in the darkening streets and the brightly lit, yellow-painted school hall. On election day itself, the noise dies down, the campaigning has to stop. There is simply space for us all to make our decisions. That means that even the most cynical of us walking to put a pencil cross on our multi-coloured ballot papers this evening had decided to do one thing only. Our purpose was simply to make our private mark on our future, literally and figuratively.

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