This is a rant. This is a rant at all the people who complain about the way things are and do nothing to change it.
You don’t have to be someone to do something.
You just have to be willing to do something.
Yes, you will have to give your time to the cause for something to happen.
Yes, you will have to find others who share your passion for the change.
Yes, you will have to care enough to do more than complain, do more than fret, and do more than everyone else you know would do.
You are powerful beyond your imagination if only you would DO SOMETHING!
A decade ago as a member of my professional union, IFPTE Local 12, I actively lobbied against the passage then implementation of the National Security Personnel System (NSPS), a Department of Defense (D0D) pay system that cost atrocious amounts of money to implement across DoD management to no gain in performance. It has since been scrapped. The unions effectively fought off the implementation of NSPS.
Years after, I worked tirelessly (and those who worked with me can attest to the time we put in) to promote the U.S. Navy’s presence in our community via the Puget Sound Naval Bases Association (PSNBA). PSNBA celebrated our 60th anniversary in 2006. In the photo below, that’s a much younger me in the red dress standing one person to the left of longtime congressman, Norm Dicks.
Today, via Bremerton Beyond Accessible Play, I’m diligently working toward the first accessible playground in my county. We are on track to install a new, BEYOND accessible playground in Evergreen Rotary Park in spring 2014, serving the local area’s more than 3,000 children with special needs. In little more than three years, we will have completed the more than $400,000 project funded entirely on grants and private donations. The impact to the city even includes a reduced maintenance requirement over the next fifteen years.
These experiences taught me several things:
- If you’re going to talk, talk in ways that people will listen. Write to Congress. Speak in person with your Representatives and Senators. Know your facts and stick to your talking points. Gossiping with your friends about the latest rumor you heard won’t change anything.
- Find other people who believe in your cause and band together. PSNBA was founded in 1946 to remind people in Washington, D.C. that people in Bremerton, Washington were doing great work for the Navy and should be allowed to continue doing it. The PSNBA mission is still essential today.
- You will have to invest your time if you hope to get anything done. You can’t rely on others to fight your battles for you, care as much as you do, or do as good of a job as you would do if only you were willing to sacrifice for your cause.
And the ultimate lesson:
- You won’t accomplish anything if you don’t do anything, so if you want something done, DO SOMETHING!
To my Navy friends watching the fiscal cliff, continuing resolutions, sequestration, and name-another-huge-challenge and to my other friends with their own challenges (e.g., lithium-ion batteries, maybe?): You are the right person to do something. You can’t keep waiting on someone else to do it for you.
You must do something. <Picture my finger pointing at you.>
You must do something. <Picture my finger getting closer to your nose.>
You must do something. <Feel my finger poking you right in the end of your nose.>
You must do something. <Have you gotten the message yet?>
You must act.
You must care enough to sacrifice, or you can’t be surprised when nothing happens.
Author’s Note: If you now want to do something but can’t decide what, my Navy friends could start by volunteering with any of our non-governmental organizations that can take a stand on your behalf, i.e., IFPTE, Bremerton Metal Trades Council, PSNBA, Naval Civilian Managers Association, Federal Managers Association, Assistant Production Superintendents Association, National Association of Superintendents, National Association of Naval Technical Supervisors, National Association of Retired Federal Employees, or the Apprentice Association. If you offer to help them and they don’t know what to do, then come talk to me (email@example.com). I know we can think of at least a few things that will make a difference right away. Now, if you just said “Yeah right!” in your head, then I dare you to try me.