I am back in my second semester of graduate school and we just had the first two days of our social change class. A year ago I was just applying to be here and it is absolutely shocking how in the short time I have learned so much and have become so close to so many incredible people. The following post is an entry I wrote after I applied to this graduate program. Finishing up two days in such an impactful class on social change adds support to what I was thinking before coming to Little Rock, AR.
Entry from January 29th, 2012
This last week I needed to write a short essay for something I am working on. After I wrote it, I thought it necessary to post it on the website to help describe what I mean and feel with the “We Are All Involved” campaign. Also, coming after a week where we had the state of the union address as well as the resignation of Gabrielle Giffords were great supporting reasons to post this essay.
WE ARE ALL INVOLVED
In the past few months, I have taken on my own personal mantra, “We are all involved”. We hear it when President Obama speaks and we hear it when the Republican candidates are in their debates, positive social action can only happen when we are all working together. Unfortunately, this can not only be said, but action needs to follow these statements in order to keep our integrity. For that reason, I identify as an activist; someone who is actively encouraging myself, as well as others, to be alive and conscious in our world, helping to better all of our communities.
Being alive and conscious means actively participating in the decisions that are being made around you while being vulnerable to the habitual resistance to social change that we constantly encounter. I feel with all my heart that with repeated action on how we have great impact on each other, positive social change will happen. With repeated action, education and responsibility, the curve for social involvement can increase tenfold. Repeated action, education and responsibility, I believe, would lead to a higher standard of social accountability in which not only would we collectively be there for one another, but we would hold each other accountable for our actions.
The vision of my mantra, “we are all involved”, would be to see constituents holding their elected officials accountable for their pre-elected campaign promises. In this vision, I see neighbors helping one another with childcare, ways of going green, and basic community actions that we have seemed to be lost throughout our country. This vision also has the highest value for our education; where teachers are not just babysitters, but are the educational hub to our society in which we praise them and give them the gratitude they deserve while holding them responsible for our future. This vision is heightened social involvement where we all benefit.
I feel an obligation to use my voice and interpersonal skills to invoke social involvement whenever I can. I see it done with my staff at work and with my friends in everyday situations. Much of my life has been in the restaurant world as a leader. My most valuable management technique is that I lead by example. Leading by example is the best way to accomplish heightened social involvement from any activist who may have similar goals because fortunately, people just need to see it being done. Once a path has been cleared, they will assist and add with verve and tenacity. Social action, social responsibility, social involvement or however one would like to title it can be accomplished once we all acknowledge that we are all involved!