Kobe Bryant: Why I Vote

The champion basketball star joins a growing group of celebrities and newsmakers revealing why they vote and why they think all men -- and women -- should make their voices heard on November 6th.

Why vote?

The idea that each vote matters and that we individually have the power to influence how we are governed is why so many of our men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice.

WE MATTER.

That's a powerful feeling, one that I've taken for granted in the past. In the past I believed that not exercising my right to vote would not make a difference in who became the next president so why should I take the time to learn the issues? I'd rather be shooting hoops! The change occurred when Vanessa and I had our babies. Neither of us grew up in politically charged households so the issues weren't things we were necessarily excited to read about and discuss to say the least. It was ESPN for me and "Carrie Fever" (Sex and the City) for her. (Yes, I watched the show and loved it... It was quite "informative.")

As parents, the importance of the world we live in became a priority. Nothing is more important than the future of our little munchkins. They are now nine and six and are learning about the civil rights movement and the fight for women's rights so they naturally have questions. Why were African Americans forced to sit in the back of the bus? Why couldn't women vote?

The most important answer we can give them outside of the ones found in our history pages is that our world has CHANGED for the better because individuals fought for their rights while inspiring others to do the same.

We tell them, YOU too can change the world if you so dream and that YOUR opinion matters, YOU MATTER. Yes, voting is about doing your part as a responsible citizen but what really moves us to vote and learn about the issues is the example we set for our children and honoring the history of DEMOCRACY that our beautiful country stands for.

Thank you for your time. Don't forget to vote.

Kobe Bryant is a star basektball player for the Los Angeles Lakers. He recently wrote a post for iVillage about his healthy habits, which was showcased during Michelle Obama's week as Guest Editor. Get more from Kobe on his Facebook page.

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