Overheard: I don't want anything free

  • Posted on: 8 November 2011
  • By: randy

Still thinking about the following conversation, overheard while voting.

Voter Volunteer: Don't you want a "I Voted" sticker? You can get free things in town.

Voter: No. I don't want anything free. There are too many people without jobs.

At first the response seemed a bit gruff from the voter. I kept quiet, smiled a bit then turned in my ballot. On my walk home (the polling station was at the school where I dropped E off for class) I thought more about what might have been behind this comment. Now, if I had sat down with a cup of (paid for) [insert your favorite hot beverage here] with the voter, I might have heard the actual feelings behind the comment. In lieu of such an encounter, I (and you) can surmise.

I figure the voter has a job, knows plenty of people who are unemployed, and does not want to take something which could instead go to someone (slightly) more in need. That all seems reasonable, on the surface, and I commend the sentiment of wanting to seek a balance in the economy. And that might be as simple as it needs to be: the pile of goods is only so big, when one person removes an item from that pile, that is one less item available to others who may need it more.

Yes, I took a sticker (but not sure I'll actually go into an establishment offering to give me something for free, whatever that means, unless it's the Sawtooth Brewery).