Timothy Houston’s recent article in Insight News talks about getting in the way. What a humble, yet potent concept. He says, “Sometimes you have to find a way to get in the way.” And he suggests we can do this as we “speak, march, stand, write or vote.” Houston’s is a wide angle view, a long range plan to solve age-old problems in our homes, workplaces, and communities. It’s a plan that just might work.
Starting now, with a new year, a new page on the calendar, before you, try keeping Houston’s words in mind. Take courage from his suggestion that getting in the way is something you can do, while keeping in mind that getting in the way requires – requires – the courage to take a broad view.
Have courage to Speak Out: speak up against injustice, and choose your personal narrative thoughtfully. What language do you use in your home or at work that excludes, berates or judges others? When you hear others taking sides, speak up and ask questions, consider other points of view, explore new ideas and solutions.
Have courage to March, Stand, and Write: Walk with those who you believe to be right and good and just, not only at the protest, but in your daily life. Stand with those who share the values you stand for, not only on the streets, but in your work and home life, as well. Write blogs, letters, posters and postcards that express your beliefs, your values and your ideas, so these values and ideas can take hold in the greater community.
And if you do none of the above, at the very least, have the courage to Vote. Vote at the polls, for candidates who share your views. Vote with your time, choosing to be in places and with people who share your values. Vote with your wallet, supporting the local community in its efforts to make positive change. If you need a compelling reason to get to the polls, consider that juries are selected randomly from lists of registered voters. So, Vote.
For one year, resolve to get in the way, in a good way.
Julie Desmond is with George Konik Associates, Inc. in Minneapolis. Send your comments and career planning questions to Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org.