Democracy matters because it supports the development of human potential. As a political system, it provides the opportunity for individuals to become whoever we want to be and do whatever we want to do, as long as we don't hurt anyone else.
As such, democracy is not just a political system at all. It is a political structure that derives from a specific philosophical worldview: that human beings have the inherent right to grow, to become, to spread our wingspan as far as we ourselves determine. Perhaps most people don't realize how many more millions of people throughout history -- and even today -- did not and do not have that right, than do. We take for granted things that the vast majority of people who've lived on this earth could never have taken for granted, or even dreamed of.
And for this, we should be more than thankful. We should be intent on doing everything in our power to insure that others, particularly those who come after us, will inherit the same opportunities to become the people they choose to become and to have the lives they choose to create for themselves. We have more than the right to live as we choose; we have the responsibility to pass on that blessing.