In the grand scheme of the universe, my existence is pretty irrelevant. While I am not a celebrity or a force to be reckoned with, I am, among other things, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. And I have a voice, so hear me out.
The other day when a friend asked if I wanted to attend the Charlotte Women’s March with her and a group of women, I hesitated.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for supporting women. I’ll be the first person to cheer you on as long as I know what I’m advocating for. Which led me to ask myself the question, “what are we marching for?”
I’ve never attended a march before. Sure, I’ve heard of various march’s happening locally and across the nation, but for one reason or another, that’s as far as my exposure has gone. I simply never took the time to understand their purpose and the issues they were trying to shed light on.
I’m admittedly not as privy to current events as I should be. I’m on a need to know base when it comes to politics and issues facing our nation. Be it as it may, it was the way I was raised, and I never put energy in to change my habits.
While I consider myself to be pretty liberal, I’m always open to hearing both sides of an issue. I consume news and opinions and do my research when it warrants so I can get all of the facts to decide where I stand.
So why are we marching? What are we supporting? Both questions I needed to find my own answers to.
I googled and read as I fell deeper and deeper into the depths of the internet. I read the policy agenda on the Women’s March website. I scoured the Charlotte Women’s March website and read stories about why other women march. I learned about the mission and principles that the march represents, from reproductive rights to LGBTQIA rights to workers rights.
My head was spinning from all of the information.
Then I stumbled upon a paragraph on the Charlotte’s Women March website that I believe to have answered my question.
“The Women’s March of 2017 has galvanized us to follow issues that matter. To offer our view of what our political leaders and representatives are doing in leading our country. To raise our voices in either support or resistance. We acknowledge that not all women will agree on every issue. But we seek to offer more daylight on ALL issues, and let our members decide. We offer a platform for discussion and notification of local action.”
We all have voices and the Women’s March is a time to use them to talk about the things that matter to us. I guarantee there will be disagreements and differing views, but we need to talk.
We need to have a conversation, but more importantly we need to listen. Listen to other’s views and try to understand where they’re coming from. We don’t always need to agree, but we need to hear them out. Listen. Sit on it. Revisit the topic with them. Right, wrong, or indifferent, we’re all human beings and we need to respect each other.
The world isn’t fair. It has never been, and it never will be. So what are you going to do about it?
Use your voice. Listen to others. Take action. Give back to matters that matter to you. We live in a world where anything is possible. You are in control of your own fate. So get in the driver’s seat and take the wheel.
Marching is a way to bring a community together to start the conversation, but it’s what happens after the march that matters. Once the streets have been cleared, and the signs have been put away, what are you going to do to about it? What will you do to support the mission of the march and change the world, so the future is one in which you want to live?
If we want to see change, we need to be the change.
Run for local office. Volunteer at nonprofits that support matters you care about. Ask your boss for the raise and promotion you know you deserve. Change starts in our own backyards, and yes it’s hard. But isn’t living with inequality harder? No matter your gender, race, or religious beliefs, the answer is yes. So what are you going to do about it?
After all of my research and revelations, the question still remained, would I march?
Alone, I may not have influence. Alone, my voice may be quiet and shaky. But together, we can and we will be heard. Together, we will take action to build a better future for ourselves, for our friends, and for our future daughters.