I Guess We Can Stand The Heat, or We Wouldn’t Stay in the Kitchen!
A message for would-be and up-and-coming advocates.
The hot summer weather tests us all, but other things serve to test us! For instance, advocacy is not easy, especially if you already feel un-empowered in society. Yet the numbers of us gathering to advocate for good and respectful systems change and the numbers gathering to promote a new culture of thinking is growing, even if slowly! But the kitchen is actually large enough for many more advocates, and our state needs the fresh energy and enthusiasm of the younger generation to get involved!
If you would like to get involved in advocacy at the system level–whether it is in your community or at the level of state government, there are people who would love to mentor you! We may not have many resources, but we do have passion and enthusiasm. But what you must bring with you is a willingness to work and to grow. You must also bring a discomfort with the way things are and a desire to make a difference because it is right for all of us to help in society–no matter what label we wear.
Sometimes we can get comfortable with not having anything expected of us. Sometimes we’d rather sit things out because we assume this is what is expected of us. And sometimes, we may even be comfortable with the role as a victim of a system! This way, we can sit and blame but we don’t have to lift a finger!
Please, please, please. Our world needs us to help make the difference! And so much health can come when we determine not to stagnate, but to live actively! We need your voices, so think about this and let one of us know you want to help!
You can begin by looking at the web sites of advocacy organizations: NC CANSO (www.nccanso.org), NC MHCO (www.ncmhco.org), Recovery NC (substance use recovery– www.recoverync.org) and the Association of Self-Advocates of North Carolina (www.asa-nc.org). If you find some of their work interesting, then contact one of them by email or telephone and let them know you would like to learn how to advocate with them. Any of these organizations would surely welcome your help AND the opportunity to mentor you!
The kitchen is hot! Sometimes there is tension! But the reward of influencing change, impacting the future can hardly be measured. And you may find that you could stand more heat than you thought, that you are more resilient than you had known! Come join other wonderful, resilient people from across the state! You are necessary!