With All Your Power: It’s Just the Beginning

If you could blow up the world with the flick of a switch
Would you do it?
If you could make everybody poor just so you could be rich
Would you do it?
If you could watch everybody work while you just lay on your back
Would you do it?
If you could take all the love without giving any back
Would you do it?
And so we cannot know ourselves or what we’d really do…
With all your power
With all your power
With all your power
What would you do?
(The Flaming Lips, “The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song“)

I listened to this song as I drank my second cup of coffee this morning. After I woke at 4:30 a.m., eagerly sliding through my Facebook feed and joyous text messages from last night, I admit I got a little misty. Nothing like the raucous celebration four years ago in in Knoxville, among friends, drinking beers sitting in our favorite smoky watering hole watching results. This year was more personal, more quiet and more solemn.

But joyous nonetheless.

By 5:50 I had finished a challenging strengthening practice and was getting ready for my last day in the Gainesville office. Only then did I settle in with my coffee, peanut butter banana and listen to our country’s president’s election night speech. Just looking over the transcript again makes me tear up.

Last night, I watched the election results in the solitude of my little hotel room while I sipped American craft beer and sucked down yogurt-covered raisins in a nervous frenzy. I went to bed early, unaware of the outcome, to prepare for my drive home to Chattanooga.

I vote for American craft beer, disco balls and yogurt-covered raisins.

 “I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and forever will be, the United States of America.” (from NPR)

Before even listening to this speech, before even considering how today, this month, this year, the next four years may or may not be different from the last…in my head and in my heart I know we really CAN move forward, but that it starts not on a national level, but on a PERSONAL level. On a NEIGHBORHOOD level. On a COMMUNITY level. Obama’s re-election fills me with hope and light, yes, IT DOES NOT CHANGE the value I have grown to place in the people and places I surround myself with on a daily basis.

Which is why our local elections, like Chattanooga’s ongoing mayoral campaigning, cannot be forgotten or overlooked. At the end of the day—or in the wee hours of the morning, in my case today—I still live in a Republican-dominated city, state and region. That gives me reason to wake up EVERY SINGLE DAY and promote what and who I believe in, regardless of what party runs the city, state or nation.

I believe in my family, my friends, my colleagues, my neighbors, my communities…regardless of their political persuasions. If we continue to EMPOWER ourselves, to put people first, to follow our hearts and focus on doing good work? The rest will follow.

With all your power,
What would YOU do?

(Full disclosure—and many of you likely expected this… I know what I did. I voted for Obama!)

One Woman for Obama!


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