I sit here often with the cursor blinking before me. Not knowing if I should continue to type my most intimate thoughts or fall silent. Thus, I sit here silent for months now. Not sure if the words I say mean anything to anyone but me.
Then I think, “What will silence do?”
It will keep everything the same. The same mess that it is. “It” IS the status quo.
What’s wrong with that?
I sit here silently allowing the blog-o-sphere to turn not participating in it the conversation. Some may assume that I no longer care. My lack of written participation may mean that I am not part of the real world conversation.
I have been participating, just in a more real (to me) way. Physically putting my written thoughts out there into actions hoping to make enough little changes in my interactions to push forward big changes in my little corner of the world, AKA the fourth largest city in the United States…Houston.
In the past, I have told you all about my loves and losses. All of my varied struggles, but to talk about them seemed selfish. Needed…but selfish. I have read so many people who talk about ideas. Big ideas. Small ideas. Peaceful ideas. Warring ideas. But where was the action? What was the follow up? How can they think of all these world changing ideas and not make some mark?
First, I changed jobs, you know what happened there. Second, I changed the way I think about my job. I decided that I was one of very few women in my field in a male dominated industry, but I wasn’t going to “man up.” Instead? I embraced my femininity. I challenged my superiors by welcoming changes. Third, I stopped sitting on the sidelines.
The first mark of change is some times just putting your hand up and saying, “I can do that.”
So I did. A lot. It got to the point sometime last year that my boss sat me down and said, “Megan, you will burn out if you don’t make some changes.”
I didn’t. I evolved.
If you want to do great things you can’t do anything average. You can’t just show up and hope things turn out okay, you have to make sure they turn out okay. You have to lead and organize and curate the experience for others.
In all of my blogging and in taking control over life I learned one thing that has made all the difference. I’m a natural leader and organizer of everything (but my laundry).
I have also spent sometime in the last year learning about my leading style. What inspires me, what drives me, and how I can bring that to the world.
Monday, I was at the Leadership in the Arts Summit at the University of Houston, a summit on stewardship, community, and growth. I was sitting in the room with my other TEDx organizers and artists from across the city having an amazing experience when I realized that I was there…a leader in the arts providing my opinion and sharing in the conversation. I had a moment…seriously. Me! Why? What had I done? My friend Shawna tweeted it perfectly, ” Let’s be ambassadors for our community. We don’t need to change it but let’s invite others to be a part of it.”
I had responded. I had raised my hand.
I had some idea of why I choose to think about some things and not others, but no real idea of why.
Want to know why?
Because silence in the face of injustice, degradation, and fallacy is agreement.
I choose to stop thinking of ways to make it better and act in ways that make it better.
I choose to be an ambassador.
Will you educate others? Bring people to the places that need the most change?
Will you raise your hand?
I am often told that people just need to do for themselves and their lives will get better, but is that really the human thing to do?
Throughout the history of our species we have been there for each other and when we are not there for each other is when we fail. In our world we have enough that no one should be without food, shelter, or clothing, but there are hundreds in my city that go without those very things every day and every night.
I could walk you through an area of downtown surrounded by people you have become blind to seeing. I could take you to several food bank locations that seem to be growing in numbers of those in need every week. So many too scared, or maybe it’s proud, to ask for help. They have a nice house, nice car, nice clothes, but their circumstances have changed and they can no longer support themselves. Maybe they live paycheck to paycheck like most of us and found out that next week they are losing their job.
The changes in the energy industry the last few months have made that a reality for many. It’s okay to need help. We all do from time to time.
Next week is Compassion week in the City of Houston. There are events and activities throughout the city for all age levels and identities. Whether you want to help the poor or learn to be a servant leader.
I urge your participation.
Will you raise your hand and claim your ability to change just one person’s life?
If you are not in Houston, but interested in changing the lives of your community please contact your local food bank or services office. They will know where the most help is needed.