Last night, watching the results roll in, I spoke with a friend who commented that it feels like we are living within history. Record numbers of Americans have chosen to stand up, make their voices heard, and shape the destiny of this country. Enough with waiting for our luck to change. Enough with excuses, cynicism, and conspiracy theories. Millions of individuals are ready and willing to unite, to take a higher path, and to steer this country toward its ideals.
Now the challenge is getting to work. Where do we go from here?
As jubilant as I am, my one fear is that Americans will be content to celebrate this victory, and to wait for change to come to them. But we cannot rest. A cornerstone of this campaign is responsibility for our country. As Barack Obama has routinely stated, government cannot fix our problems for us:
"Because loving your country shouldn't just mean watching fireworks on the 4th of July; loving your country must mean accepting your responsibility to do your part to change it. And if you do stand up, I promise you that your life will be richer, and our country will be stronger.We need your service, right now, in this moment - our moment - in history. I'm not going to tell you what your role should be; that's for you to discover. But I am going to ask you to play your part; ask you to stand up; ask you to put your foot firmly into the current of history. I am asking you to change history's course."
Many Americans have already answered this call. If you actively serve in your community, now is the time to redouble your efforts. Find a friend or family member, and encourage them to do the volunteer with you. If you have never served, here are three easy, concrete ways to help:
Meals on Wheels
The Boys and Girls Club
The Wounded Warrior Project
If you are interested in volunteering in another capacity, Volunteer Match specializes in lining you up with thousands of community service projects across the country.
Ask yourself: Are you really too busy? Could you find even one hour each week? Could you involve your family and friends?
Who else is going to do it?
My favorite Barack Obama quote: "We are the people we've been waiting for."
Looking forward to this new era of promise, what steps will you take to make this country better?