Last week on NPR there was a story about gun control. It was show casing another side of the debate and not just the NRA's view point or lobbying strategy. The article focused on the partnership behind a grass-root group, "Million Mom Army" and Michael Bloomberg's vast resources.
What struck me was how the founder of the "Million Mom Army" or Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Shannon Watts got involved. Shannon lives in Zionsville, Indiana, 800 miles away from Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. She was folding laundry for her family when she heard the news on the radio of that fateful day. It affected her. She thought that she wanted to do something. Shannon says, "I was obviously devastated, but I was also angry".
It spurred her to action. She looked online to see if there were any mother groups about guns similarly to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. When she didn't see anything, she posted something on her Facebook account. As she says, she only had 75 friends so when she started getting likes from more and more people, eventually over 1 million, she knew that she was on to something.
It was then that the following caught the attention of the Bloomberg group who, though they had all the top-down processes in place, didn't have any grass roots footing. By partnering, the two groups have formed a formidable organization.
Now I am not going to debate the gun control issues. But I am inspired that a person was able to hear something on the radio and do something in her own way. Initially, it wasn't anything too extraordinary nor requiring too much commitment. In fact it was something that she was doing already- commenting on Facebook. It was in her comfort zone. As she explored more, she got into things that were new to her which I am sure pushed her beyond her capability. Certainly all the notoriety, like meeting President Obama, etc. was probably not in her mind when she posted her first Facebook notice.
It made me think of the organizations and activities in my life. Am I doing anything that affects change? Has anything resonated with me that keeps niggling at me to do something more? What is the issue and what can I do about it? Ignore it? Find excuses why someone else is better suited? Recognize that it is not my time for this endeavor and move on? Or, explore that thought and see where it leads? Whether or not, Shannon's organization makes strides, she has certainly continued the dialogue of an issue that is not going away.
What about you? Have you wanted to do something but wondered how you could be a change agent? Just like Shannon Watts, you might be going about your normal day when something intersects your life. Explore that idea. You never know where it will lead and what that calling will do for you and for others.