On Tuesday, November 4, we made a momentous decision to elect Barack Obama as our 44th president, declaring that change, hope and unity were more than words but real ideas with strength and power. Though excited about the election, I almost immediately delved into a pity party about the inauguration. Back in the day, as a sophomore at Georgetown, I witnessed what was then historic...Bill Clinton's first inaugural.
The day after Obama's election, I spent the morning regaling my husband with memories of Clinton's inauguration and trotted out lines like "if that was historic, imagine how amazing this experience would be" and "if you really, really loved me, you'd help me find a way to go." Hardly fair.
Then, to top it off, I listened to the talking heads say things like "Obama has to do XYZ" and "Obama must do ABC". I realized that the chattering class was making the same mistake that we've been making for years; that's it about one individual's responsibility to fix our problems and not all of our responsibility to do so. What was so inspiring about Obama's campaign is his focus on the "we" and not the "me." That made me realize how selfish I was and got me thinking about how we could start making change happen on Obama's inauguration day.
So, going big, I want to encourage 1 million people to give at least two hours of their time on inauguration day to send a message to our country, our leaders and, frankly, the world that optimistic, can-do Americans are back! Not just Yes We Can but Yes We Are!
Imagine what two million hours in one day can accomplish across the country. Imagine how many books can be read to kids in a literacy program or meals can be shared at a food pantry or trails can be maintained in our parks. Imagine what that gift can mean to our communities, to ourselves and to our new administration. Let's do this people, let's get out there and make this happen.
So, if you already volunteer your time to a local organization, make plans to do so on January 20th. I'd love to be able to share with the world how many folks are giving to their community as a way to usher in change by ALL OF US. Feel free to use the comment field in this blog, your own blog, the wall in the Yes We Are Facebook group or the Twitter sign #daytobelieve to share what organization you're supporting and how.
If you don't already support a local organization and would like suggestions or if you are a local organization and need help, please use the same options (comment field, Facebook group or Twitter #daytobelieve) to get the help you need. We want to make sure that everyone who wants to volunteer can, and everyone who needs help gets it.
So, what do you think folks? Can we make the change we want to see in the world?