Today, I am participating in Blog Action Day 2012, as a member of the National Writers Union (NWU). The theme for today is The Power of We - We, the People - We, the Underdogs - We, the Marginalized and We, the 99%.
Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." One person alone is like a pebble dropped into the pool of humanity. Their strength, convictions, and abilities ripple out into the universe creating change. As each ring of the ripple moves along, more and more people become engaged in a cause.
Today, the Power of We has never been more obvious. Each day, we are deluged with imaged from cellphones, tweets, and Facebook comments. We know within seconds if someone has lied about an action or committed an injustice. More than once in the past year, pressure from people around the globe has changed the world.
As an ordinand for Interfaith Minister, I am mindful of how a simple gesture, a few words or a gentle touch can change the attitudes of others. The Power of We, is about coming together regardless of gender, race, religious preferences, political parties or nationality. We ARE the change we have been waiting for...together, we can make a difference.
I know that a difference is made every day in Swaziland, a country racked by poverty, disease and lack of education. My dear friend, Dr. Maithri Goonetilleke and the team of devoted people, who dedicate their time and talents to the Possible Dreams International organization, create change in the lives of Gogo's (grandmothers), who care for their orphaned grandchildren. They create change for communities that are battling the vicious cycle of poverty and illiteracy. The create change for young men and women by giving them hope for a better tomorrow. The Power of We, pure and simple!
The PDI Choir singing a song written by Dr. Maithri Goonetilleke
In Malawi, a group of tireless people work with the World Food Program to bring nutritional education and food to students throughout the country. I am very proud to say that my step-daughter is one of these people. Her dedication to this work, her insights and talents, combined with those of the other members of WFP, create life-giving change for the students of this small country, who will have school food programs to help bring them the nutrition they need to be successful scholars. A Princeton in Africa fellow, Bridget is writing about her experiences in her blog, Roads Less Traveled: Malawi.
In my own community, I see the difference that the Power of We has on the immigrant and refugee community through the work of the Center for New Americans (CNA). CNA is not a big organization, but the work it does make a huge difference for those, who have come to the United States and now call this country home. CNA assists immigrants and refugees in learning English, in navigating the systems needed to live in our community (health care, housing, education, etc.) and in becoming citizens.
One of the most touching and enlightening moments for me this year, was attending the annual swearing in of new citizens on the lawn of the courthouse in Northampton, MA. Many of those in attendance were affiliated with CNA, either as clients or students. I was so moved by the ceremony and the stories shared of hardships overcome and lives changed.
Next month, CNA will be bringing people from throughout the community together to celebrate literacy and poetry, while raising much needed funds for the Center. The celebration, 30 Poems in November is something that I, personally, will be part of, along with many other writers, students, neighbors, and community members. Imagine, not only will funds be raised, but for some of the participants, this will be the first time their poetry will be read and honored. Now, that is life changing!
The Power of We - may we never forget its worth.
#PowerOfWe #BAD12 #Blogactionday