Today I’ve received numerous requests from people to call government officials about various issues surrounding this election. As much as I realize how important it is to make those phone calls, the thought of doing it made my stomach ache and my heart palpitate. It’s strange, I know, but for some reason I hate talking to strangers on the phone. I’ve done it plenty of times, I even used to work as a receptionist at various places, but when it comes to important conversations this is one area where my unreasonable fears take over.
I’m fine face-to-face. I’m fine in written words. I just hate the phone.
This started me thinking about what I can do over the coming months and years to make a difference. I often feel like I don’t do enough. As brave as I can be in certain situations, there are others where I let my fears get in the way. I am surrounded by women (and men) who stand up bravely every day, in powerful ways, and I think, “I should be doing that.” But I don’t, not always.
The truth, though, is that everyone has their strengths, and everyone can do things that make a difference. I have been doing that all along, I just don’t always recognize it. I may not be able to make huge donations to causes. I may not be able to make those dreaded phone calls but there is a lot I can do, and many things I already have done and continue to do.
So what are they?
- I can continue to teach with passion, encouraging my students to question, challenge, and speak out against oppression of all types.
- I can continue to mentor young women to recognize the powers they carry within them.
- I can continue to advocate for people with disabilities, immigrants, and causes I believe in.
- I can create theatre for social change programs that teach empathy and encourage discussion.
- I can lead more workshops in writing and creativity, encouraging people to share their personal stories loudly and proudly.
- I can continue to write, whether novels, stories, blogs, or non-fiction books that challenge the system while reminding us what we have in common.
- I can use my skills as a theatre artist/director/stage manager to help create productions and performances that advocate for change and celebrate diversity.
- I can write letters to the editor, and emails to public figures, to make sure all our voices are heard.
- I can be a sounding board for people who need to talk or express their fears.
- I can be a protector, for people who afraid.
- I can start doing more P.O.W.ER talks, because those are all about empowering women.
That’s a lot.
Maybe I can’t make those phone calls, but I can definitely make my voice be heard, and help others find their own voices.
What can you do? Please share in the comments below.