Lara Holliday is inspired by high school students who are learning how to rally their communities around important issues.

It's easy to get pretty gloomy about what is happening in American politics today. I don't even need to list the bizarre and frightening things happening; you know them. It seems some people are finding themselves paralyzed with angst and fear but don't think there's anything they can do about it. I've had people say to me they think they need more access, more money, more education...just more to be able to play a meaningful role.

But yesterday I met a group of high school students who don't buy into that. I had the great pleasure of talking with high school students participating in the Summer Youth Advocacy Program, run at Oakwood Friends School in upstate New York by the indomitable Julie Okoniewski. These middle and high school students are spending their summer learning how to engage in advocacy, how to get involved in the political system, and how to rally their communities around important issues that affect their daily lives. They can't even vote yet, but they clearly have no intention of letting this election slide by without their participation. Just half an hour on Skype with them gave me some hope for the future.

And it's not just them.

I did my two-hour volunteer shift yesterday at the local Hillary field office calling folks to ask them to volunteer for the campaign. First off, I am always surprised when someone actually picks up their phone these days. But I am telling you -- not only did quite a few people pick up their phones, but many of them responded with enthusiasm about getting involved. Many responded in surprise that it was actually so easy to help the campaign, once I described ways to get involved.

So do it. Find a way to make a meaningful change. Let this group of teenagers giving up their summer freedom serve as an inspiration for you. Too many of us get caught up in the idea that changing the world is too big and overwhelming a thing to be able to do anything about it.

Buck that trend, and help us put our nation on a better course.


August 10, 2016

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