I started Change Consulting around the time Barack Obama became elected as the first African American President of the United States. It was a defining time for me.
I believed wholeheartedly in the audacity of hope. I believed that, yes, we can, and that, yes, I could, too. And while change may be scary for some, I believed that there was a type of change that was worth believing in and worth fighting for. So I named my business Change Consulting, with a mission of providing strategic communications support to changemakers and good causes. This year’s election is just pivotal as 2008, although for reasons that are the exact opposite.
So, in the aftermath, here are four things I am resolved to do.
1) Increase my own capacity and understanding of how to encourage public opinion for social good. George Orwell underscored the power of public opinion in this quote: “The point is that the relative freedom which we enjoy depends on public opinion. The law is no protection. Governments make laws, but whether they are carried out, and how the police behave, depends on the general temper in the country. If large numbers of people are interested in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it; if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.”
2) Do more to support changemakers, people who are fighting for positive social change in our communities, our states, our country, our world. People who have been doing the work day in and day out, and will continue to do the work, day in and day out. We can do that with our time, or with our money. This is my life’s work, and along with my colleagues, I committed to doing more to support the inspiring visionaries who are fighting for our highest ideals and values.
3) Stand up and stand together. In the years to come, we the people will have to provide the checks and balances. Whether it is standing up against racist attacks (verbal or physical) against our brothers and sisters or, when we see bad policy that tries to strip away rights, being vigilant, being informed, speaking up and joining others to take action will be crucial.
4) Stop playing small. Those of us on the side of justice, inclusion and opportunity for all no longer have the option of playing small, if we ever did. We can’t be quiet. We can’t be reasonable. We cannot shrink back. Our voices have never been more important. Our perspectives and ideas are sorely needed. Our contributions are more valuable now than ever.