What difference does one vote make? A solitary cross among tens of millions; a tiny pebble on a long beach; the smallest ripple on a pond? Surely the difference one vote makes is but nothing? A singular irrelevance. A waste of time, of ink and of paper.

Please let me explain why it matters, why every vote counts and why especially your vote counts.

The usual line for this theme is that it is our duty, a privilege, “use it or lose it” and remember the war etc. I won’t lecture, I’m not your dad, but I would like to share one different thought.

We live in an ever more connected world, but individually we are ever more disconnected from it. We can see, hear and talk to almost anyone at any time, and yet we feel less relevant, useful and valued by our world. We can do almost anything we want, and yet we feel more helpless.

We need to feel connected, we need to feel useful and we need to feel that we can be helpful.

When the stonemason cuts a stone, the cathedral is not built; when the farmer sows a seed, the world is not fed and when one citizen votes, the election is not won or lost. However these acts each of which is so small, connect us, make us useful, ensure we feel helpful and make us human.

Vote for your self-esteem, vote for your humanity, vote to feel you play a part not that you are apart.

Feel the power you have in this one small act. Feel you have said something about your hopes, your values, your ambitions and feel you have shared common purpose with your fellow citizens. Realise you care; realise you have a need to assert your role in this world and realise that it matters to you.

The moment is over before you can comprehend it, but the impact carries on and on. It is the ultimate domino effect. Millions and millions of dominos all pushed on the same day, the consequences played out for years to come.

Voting matters because it validates us and connects us. Billionaire or penniless, young or old we each have one vote, one mark, one moment to be equal. It is as visceral and fundamental as this and we must vote to be part of what makes us a community, a country, a society. Vote not for the impact on the overall result, but for the impact it has on you.

Take care. Paul