I “co-wrote” an article with my friend, Nick (guest post here), a while back in the Black Student Union’s news-letter, Perspectives. We didn’t communicate well, so Nick did most of the writing. I changed the ending, wanting to include a call to action. He added a bit more, and there it was. I probably would’ve forgotten about it if it wasn’t for something my friend Ryan said afterwards.
He’s the one who edited the article, and he noticed the tone was a little different at the end. He correctly accused me of writing it. I jokingly wondered if that was a bad thing, but he told me it was good. It made him inspired to act. The article was about how both parties were not doing what was in the best interest of the African-American community, like how Democrats took them for granted and how Republicans liked to take pictures with black people instead of working on issues (this was before Obama). I included a call to make sure one’s voice was heard, instead of lost within these two parties. (Perhaps I should find the actual text sometime.) It wasn’t the most elegant, poetic thing I’ve written, but it was good to hear that I helped light a fire within someone. When the protests took place after the whole racist party affair, I think Ryan said something about those words helping inspire him to act. Putting aside the politics of the issue, I’m really happy to have done my little part to spark a flame big enough that it led to action.
That’s the kind of person I want to be. The whole positivity paradigm I was talking about included being an uplifting, positive person. But I want to extend beyond my personal circle of friends. I want to inspire people to act. And that’s the kind of politician I want to be. I want to be the kind of public figure who inspires millions not only during his or her lifetime, but for generations after.