I attended my first citizen led town hall this past week during congressional recess. I was in awe of the people coming together in the middle of the week to attend. People filled the chairs, the floor, and lined the walls. In all, approximately 250 people came to express their opinions in a civil manner. Unlike what our representatives would have you believe! This was not a protest, no one was paid to be there except the press, and we all were citizens of the surrounding congressional districts seeking to be heard.
Highly regarded speakers from different policy streams were present giving their best representation of what the Trump administration was trying to accomplish. The air dripped of anger and disdain for the current policy talking points in regards to immigration, LGBTQ, reproductive rights, education, and environmental issues. Yet, in this large church gathering room, it also had a sense of mission and hope.
It’s a sad and stupid thing to have to proclaim yourself a revolutionary just to be a decent man.
— David Harris
We came together to hear our neighbors stories, to share our ideas, to instill an ounce of hope in those who are afraid to step out their front door for fear of retribution. I learned that not only do we collectively have the backs of our sister and brothers who are like us, but also the backs of those who deem us their adversaries. Coming together to understand one another, to listen, to heal, to laugh – this is the revolution!
**Thanks KDS for the quote
I love to read books that help remind me how to be a better version of myself. Browsing at the library this past weekend led me to Adam Grant’s Originals. It explains how being different can have positive impacts in many situations. I can’t say that I am a true original from my perspective. I can say that I choose to use my voice to be as original as I can.
In chapter 3, there is a handy chart from Albert Hirschman that points to using voice to change your situation while being beneficial to an organization. I started thinking how this is a perfect reflection of the many citizens who are marching and speaking against the current administration and policies. Our members of Congress were elected to represent us. They were elected to be one voice for us. When our voices are speaking loudly and in such large numbers, we are trying to change our situation while being beneficial to our democracy.
When our representatives do not listen to our voice, vote with their best interests instead of ours, deem it not necessary to hold town halls, and get to make the rules without consent, here is where we need originals. This is when our voice is most important. Our reps are not being original by promoting new ideas, nor are they moving the world forward. They seemingly are moving it backwards!
Stand up and use your voice for good. Use your voice to tell your members of congress your feelings, make them become a better version of themselves. Be an original!
I grew up in an idyllic small town with a family who instilled in me a love of all things and people. I was safe from riots in the streeet, gun violence, and the like. My door was always open, and I was usually found on the outside of it.
Now, I am almost 40 years old. I did not live through women’s liberation, nor did I participate in the struggles of the civil rights movement. Yet, today I see these very things arriving at my doorstep and knocking very loudly. Sadly, I am more often than not on the inside of that door trying to do all of the things a women must do to keep up!
In this article by Sharon Weeks, she lays out the struggles that women have lived through and overcome. She tells us to not take anything for granted, because it can all be taken away with the swift “swipe of a pen”. We are not immune to being taken back to times of yesterday!
I have taken an oath to myself-to the women who have come before me, and to my sons who may someday have daughters-to open my door again. To stand on the outside, knock with all my might, and ensure that I am heard! Please knock with me.
What will you do when authority figures stomp out your freedom to express yourself?
What will you do when authority figures quell the voices of the single man?
What will you do when authority figures drown out the voices of the many?
What will you do when authority figures speak for themselves and not for the populous they were meant to represent?
What will you do when authority figures decide to march us to a war frought with dishonesty and of stubborn egos?
What will you do? Where were you when history was made? Don’t be on the wrong side of this war! Be active, fight, express yourself at all costs, join your fellow humans in honest discourse. Act like the decision you make to act today may be the last decision you may have the privilege of making, as it very well may be!