In July, I shared my story about how attempting something difficult—physically, mentally, emotionally—prepared me for being a leader of conscience today. In turn, I asked our AoCC community to share their own stories and inspiration with us all. Many thanks to the brave souls who stepped up in this 8-part series!
We live in a world that celebrates the “self-made man”, but even he had caring teachers, access to education, dependable roads, and (hopefully) a safe community in which to become his own success story. Independence, while a noble goal, is an illusion. When we acknowledge our interconnectedness, we become stronger.
What’s something challenging you’ve done or experienced?
I survived the loss of my late wife to cancer, and dealing with single parenthood, grief, and growth.
What did that experience teach you or show you about yourself?
I learned that I had worth, strength, and potential as a solitary person, as part of a relationship, as a parent, and as a valued member of several communities.
How does that serve you as you engage in the work of social and political change?
It adds to my ability to empathize with others and to see multiple potential avenues of survival, healing, and health.
Anything you want to add?
Love is not a zero-sum game!
Sarah, Evanston, Illinois
Every time I see more signs that my fellow Americas are fighting for love, truth, justice, equality, unity, and the rule of law, I am reminded that we are all in this together.
Another source of inspiration is when people in my community trust each other enough to speak up when help is needed. Admitting vulnerability is hard, but it is an act of faith and trust in others.
I have learned over the past three years that sometimes I need to allow myself to receive help and support. But other times, when I feel rejuvenated, I am able to take action and give that same help and support to others. Some of my most inspiring moments recently have come when I happen to be in the right place at the right time to offer a hug, food, a shoulder to cry on, or some down time to someone who needs it.
We all experience fear and anger, but it can be channeled into action to better our community when we are able. I loved the sentiment shared in [a recent AoCC] newsletter: The best self care is community care.
The lesson: Take care of yourself and let others take care of you sometimes, too.
Ready to speak up in concert with fellow Americans of Conscience?
This week’s Checklist is ready for action.