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Vicki Strauss Kennedy

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Change My World

Posted: 10/24/08 04:38 PM ET

My desk window faces the lot behind my office. Each morning as I sit down to write, I watch the stream of the building's occupants make their way to their cars, many with children straggling behind them, weighted down with backpacks and posterboards and lunch boxes. My favorite morning view though, is when the toddlers attending the day care center in our basement embark upon their early recess. I silently cheer them as they make their slow but steady way. Soon they too will be laden with notebooks and then laptops, and the responsibilities of growing up, and then of being grown. But for now, their job is just to BE, and they do so with all of the carefree joy of childhood.

I thought about this early day ritual when I viewed a new music video a friend sent me, called "Change My World." Anchored by an incandescent Ayanna Stokes and featuring the Agape Children's Choir in full exuberance, it is a call to action for those of us who already have the power of the ballot and the ability to participate in our democracy.

The song is infused with words of power -- words such as 'belief' and 'hope' and 'dream.' The young voices are raised, in a gently insistent chorus, to remind us that it is our obligation to participate in this election. It is hard, given the current economic climate, not to feel as if so much of this year's vote is about the here and now of our country's financial state. But when I watch the gathering of singers on my computer screen, and then peek out the window and see my charges-from-afar make their careful way to and from the park, I feel as if the stakes are even higher. I want to leave a world that is protected and prosperous and safe for my children, and all those tinier souls that my children were, once, not so long ago.

Although they do not know it yet, in their blissful sense of only being, they are the future -- theirs, and yours and mine also. The decisions and choices we make in two weeks, two months, two years, are ones that will irrevocably shape how they are able to live their lives. I, we all, wish for them peace and contentment and hope, most of all. It is our duty, our moral imperative, to respond to these songs, and to prayers perhaps not yet even thought nor uttered.

Hear the children in "Change My World." Listen to the even littler voices in nursery schools and day care centers. Take heed. Take action. Vote.