Don't be polite; raise your voice!
When you think about it, it's easy to see why big political shifts occur. When former-President Barack Obama was elected, it was a huge moment for our country and a message from those who felt under-represented by prior administrations. Swing forward to November 2016 when we witnessed a -- yes -- shocking and diametric opposite result: the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. Mr. Trump's win, just like Mr. Obama's wins, demonstrates the power of a collective voice. Those who felt under-represented for the last eight years stepped up collectively and said, "Enough!" And while not everyone agrees with the outcome of our most recent election, the results support the notion that voices raised in unison become a powerful tool.
Are you being heard?
These days, it can seem like there is little we can control. Violence at home and abroad is rampant. The state of our healthcare system is uncertain with medical and insurance premium costs perpetually on the rise. Many workers face uncertain futures with companies like Microsoft and GM laying off chunks of their employees and others like Anthem moving thousands of jobs out of state ... and MAYBE allowing the current holders of those jobs to move with the company and retain their positions.
What can a person do in these stressful, frustrating and sometimes down right scary times?
Become involved. Use your voice and use it regularly. Participate in online panels, find online surveys, join Facebook groups, go to community meetings ... the list is endless. And despite what we see in the news, it doesn't need to get ugly. We live in a great country that touts an individual's right to articulate one's ideas and opinions without fear of retribution. We can agree to disagree and respect one another's right to hold differing opinions. Yes, that can be a challenge at times, particularly when confronted by emotionally charged subjects like gun control or LGBTQ rights. But to be effective, we need to try and keep on trying. Answer questions, even ASK the questions, and contribute to the conversation and you will be heard.