I have been reflecting a lot on the state of our current divisive political climate and anti-immigrant sentiment, and the whole situation makes me feel sad. As someone who came to this country as a refugee and who has had the opportunity to build a truly magnificent life, my normal state is deep gratitude.
I spent Sunday morning at the Bloomberg election headquarters in White Plains, NY. Although I don’t consider myself a political person, I had reached a point where I was tired of hearing myself complain about our current president and feeling helpless. My goal in sharing this with you is to encourage you take courageous action when you are upset about something you experience as wrong. If you are saddened each morning when you pass the same homeless person, or enraged by a new law that passed, you can take courageous action. I am not promising that your actions, whether it be writing an email to your representative or stopping to talk the homeless person, will change everything, but I do know it will make you feel less powerless. Yes, our courageous action can make a difference!
What I experienced at the opening of the Bloomberg headquarters was interesting. Over 500 people showed up. We spoke to a few as we were waiting for the speakers and they shared our sentiments; they were tired of watching our country’s values erode and had decided to take courageous action. We even met four life-long Republicans who were changing their political affiliation to support Bloomberg! I have been a life-long independent and always voted for the person I thought could best lead us. I too filled out the form on the spot to change my political status so that I could vote in the primary.
Being in a room full of positive energy and hopefulness made me feel so much better! Interestingly enough the closing speaker told us that the Bloomberg campaign didn’t want our money, just our time to reach out to others to encourage their vote. I pledged to volunteer four hours a month to do outreach.
Yesterday I had lunch with a very experienced law firm PR head and I asked her opinion about sharing this experience with you. The question on the table was whether I would alienate any clients because people are so divided and politically jaded. After much discussion I concluded that taking courageous action was what I needed to do. I hope some of you will join me!