More Than a Moment

March 3rd, 2009

Lessons from the Inauguration

Coming back from the inauguration I distinctly remember a number of things.

First, it was COLD! My west coast skin was not prepared for the intensity of the weather. Secondly, it was chaotic. For those of you who keep track of such things, I had a purple ticket, and found myself wandering in circles for hours. Thirdly, there were too many people in too little space. There were not enough bathrooms, no food available, and the people in charge of security and direction were not prepared.

All of that added up to one of the most amazing moments of my lifetime. Yes, we were back-to-front without a shred of daylight between us, and yet we grinned from ear to ear. The man in the wheelchair next to me had a hard time, but we all made sure that he kept up. Grandmothers in furs held hands with youngsters with spiked hair and we all sang. We cried when the oaths were taken and shouted after Aretha sang in that hat. I have never seen such celebration. The inauguration brought out the best in us, and it is the memory of unity, commitment and absolute joy that I bring home.

Hopefully this joy and commitment is not just a moment in time. There is much work ahead of us, and it will be important that we keep this sense of hope and celebration alive as we tend to the pressing issues facing us all. As leaders, we are responsible for the tone and tenor of our organizations and communities. We are the ones who must keep a strong and compelling vision alive so that the people around us stay motivated and engaged.

Take a minute and check in with your spirit...

  • What is your vision for the world now? What might you need in order to keep your energy in alignment with your vision?
  • Who do you need or want to connect with in support of your vision?
  • What support can you offer to those whose spirits may be flagging?

Yes, the time and tide has changed. We have a number of choices about how we approach our work now. We can become jaded and suspicious about the possibility of sustained change, we can become indifferent and plod on, or we can intentionally attend to our well-being and optimism. I hope you will choose the latter - it makes the work so much more effective and satisfying. I have a vision of millions of interconnected, celebratory, and elegant leaders working toward making this country a whole, caring, and compassionate place to live. I invite you to come. Come and join me in my vision.

My best to you,

March 2009

Ideas for local fundraising...

Funding the work of community-based organizations is a constant challenge.

The New World Foundation Resource Lab has just published a new report with the Ford Foundation that offers ideas for how groups can develop financial resources of their own.

Progressive organizations whose missions are to address social and economic justice issues through advocacy and organizing often find their access to traditional philanthropic resources limited.

In this incredible, idea-filled guide, these two foundations help inspire creative thinking about the wealth of resources that exist in all communities.