By Lindsay Gullingsrud
I have family members who are fire fighters. The other week, they fought a pretty big fire. Thanks to Facebook and friends capturing images of the fire, for the first time, I was able to relate to their reality. I was able to get a sense of the danger they faced and saw that, instead of running to safety, they were running towards danger to prevent and minimize potential losses. I am in awe of the work they do, and how they literally put their lives on the line and compromise their safety for others’. Their sense of urgency is measurable and understandable, and can be captured in pictures and sounds.
This week I have been thinking about this sense of urgency and that moment in time when thinking “Something needs to change” or “Someone [else] needs to do something” switches to “I need to do something” or “I need to take action”. I wish we could capture that moment, when the sense of urgency becomes so personal that it results in action. I wish we could put that moment in a bottle and give it to people.
Last weekend, for the very first time, I sent a letter to my state representatives about something that wasn’t work related. I am not sure exactly sure what happened, but in that moment when I was asked to write the email, I didn’t think about not having enough time. I didn’t think about my fear of not knowing exactly what to say or that I am only one voice. It didn’t matter. The time was now, enough was enough, and I identified with the urgency and chose to use my voice on behalf of all of us who would be impacted by a decision. After hitting send, I was so excited about what I had done that I posted my statement on Facebook. It felt so good to feel that shift, that change—to be running into the fire instead of away—to be part of something bigger instead of choosing to watch from the sidelines.
Today is your moment. It is your time to see the urgency, recognize your voice, and choose to use it for change. You can be that one person on your social networking site talking about the prevention of child sexual abuse and exploitation. You can be the one person to identify the urgency that is in front of us. You can be the one person to inspire five other people to do the same. The urgency is now. We all have a voice to change the culture and create a healthy environment that supports our children. We, too, can prevent losses.
We are building a revolution. It starts online on February 29, and you can help it grow exponentially, but first you need to recognize that this is your moment, too.