For the last ten years I've encouraged my students to make a difference, to speak out against injustice, to act out in politics or even in their local communities. I've done this as a teacher who wants to change the world, but I haven't really practiced what I preach. I haven't taken a stand.
Until this weekend.
This past weekend, I attended the Rally to Restore Sanity in Washington, DC. Though I enjoy Jon Stewart and his "tell-it-like-it-is" wit, he is not the reason I abandoned my work-related responsibilities and my family for two days. I went in search of like-minded people who despise the polarized political system of the USA. I accepted the hits from my husband who said, "Do you really think you are going to make a difference?" and the queries from my more conservative friends who said, "Huh?"
I found on the lawn of the national mall approximately 200,000 people who shared my view, as Stewart eloquently explained near the end of the three-hour rally, that people are able to compromise every day. We work together, despite our individual beliefs, to accomplish amazing feats. Life isn't about red and blue - and like I try to teach my children, it's not about yelling "I'm right" without listening to the other view and admitting that "I might be wrong." I want my children to grow to be reasonable, and I want to remind myself to be reasonable in the face of insanity, or what I think is insanity. It is for these reasons that I traveled to Washington and staked out my lawn seat near the front of the massive crowd. And I'm invigorated to have spent 7 hours with 200,000 of my closest "friends" in this endeavor.
Despite the slant that either the liberal or conservative media will put on the rally, I will remember the energy buzzing though the crowd, and I will know that for the first time, I acted, rather than encouraged others to act, and I'm proud to have been a part of such an encouraging crowd of sanity.