These two words are replete with meaning even though one deals in the very large scale and the other in the very small scale. One might be thought of when we consider North Korea and the implications of that whole situation. The other might be thought of when we consider our own hometown or our city block for that matter.
We know, for example, that the situation involving North Korea can cause virtually worldwide issues including issues in our own backyards. At the macro level, this could ultimately change the world as we’ve known it in our lifetimes. The ripples by the time they get to our own backyards are usually significantly reduced in magnitude unless we or a neighbor have a loved one in the military who could be directly impacted.
Our experiences with local issues can be significantly impacted or slightly impacted depending on the issue. If the local school board makes a decision that has a financial impact on us, that can be significant. If we have children or grandchildren in that school system, we tend to see the impact through a different lens that reduces the magnitude of the issue from macro to micro, if that big. Our individual stakes in those matters determine how we see those decisions. If we have kids in school, that influences the feelings about decisions made. If we have grandkids in school, we are still interested but at a bit of a different level. If our families are all grown and there are no school attendees, we feel a little differently about these kinds of things even though we know we still have a stake (albeit impersonal) in those institutions.
We are impacted by things over which we have little or no control every day. Pricing at the local grocery store, or at the gas pump, or at the local restaurants we patronize can be either a bigger or a smaller thing depending on our circumstances. We can choose to change our habits if we think there is a more economical way to accomplish the same or similar thing in terms of personal consumption, but we are impacted by decisions at the local and higher governmental unit levels.
Other things over which we have only indirect control can also impact us. Taxing units of government can impact us without us having been aware if we’re not accustomed to following those things relatively closely. Those entities are units such as school systems, local villages and cities, counties, and states. Beyond this level, we have, or could have, voted for the people who will represent us but our personal level of impact is significantly reduced. At least we have a vote in such matters, even though still removed from the point-of-decision unless we are regular attendees at the public meetings. And, even then, we can be disappointed with the result, but we can remember who it was that caused us to be disappointed when we get to the voting booth the next time.
This reminds us that every vote counts. The vote we made or are to make counts. The vote our elected representative made or is to make counts. Our presence (physical or otherwise) can and does make a difference. Our opinions need to be presented to the person representing us so that he or she knows what we want and why we want it. It is then up to that person to cast the vote they believe is best for their overall constituency. Too many ‘wrong’ decisions will likely cost that official his or her position sometime in the future depending on how many chances we give them before changing our minds.
In the interest of full disclosure, I sit on a Village Board as the result of appointment to a vacant seat. I will run in the next election for that seat to learn if the majority of those voting think I ought to continue to represent them or not. This is my first time on this end of a vote other than when the Village Board selected me to fill this unexpired term from the group that indicated a desire to be considered. It has been a great learning experience; I’d love for it to continue, but that is up to the voters as it should be. This is about as micro as it gets.
Frankly, it is too bad that the higher the office, the less our individual impact, but that is the nature of the beast of representation. Remember to vote no matter at what level the decision is to be made. The smaller the total number of votes, the greater your impact.