No matter where we turn in the last few days, we are surrounded by news on the inauguration, cabinet choices, fashion sense, and people in general expressing great pleasure and equally great despair. On Facebook there are posts proudly proclaiming marching in peaceful protests for women’s rights and/or against the current president (note: they are not necessarily one and the same). There are an equal number of people telling those marching to “get over it.”
There are posts against the president’s pick for cabinet members. There are an equal number of posts saying “give it time, give them a chance.”
There’s one thing ALL of these posts have in common…
Each post, each tweet, each voice is a cry for help. For those that are pleased with the new administration they are a cry of relief that their voice will finally be heard and (hopefully) acted on.
For those that are seeing the new administration as the anti-Christ (yes, that was one I saw), they are afraid those most in need of our help will be kicked to the gutter and their voices will no longer be heard. That the rights of anyone other than white males will be reduced or eliminated.
I have seen posts where speech-language pathologists have children on their caseload who are worried about their safety, the safety of their loved ones, and are witnessing their dreams being dashed with a few late night tweets.
I have seen fellow SLPs concerned that their own medical coverage (currently under the Affordable Care Act) will terminate and their children with pre-existing conditions will no longer qualify for insurance.
I have seen school administrators concerned about the qualify of education (already under scrutiny) forced to endure even more budget cuts and setbacks. (Heck, I’ve witnessed first hand the tremendous budget cuts already in place that are affecting public schools and universities.)
I have seen people elated as their choices of administration (local, state, and national) take office, and I have seen people terrified at the prospect of disintegrating world relations.
There is one thing I haven’t seen though…
I haven’t seen those voices step up to take action. For those who are elated – step up, volunteer, enter public office and make sure that your voice continues to be heard. If you felt you weren’t heard before – STEP UP! Take action: volunteer, enter public office, and make sure your voice is heard.
For those of you who are afraid of what the current administration will be trying to accomplish – STEP UP! Take action: volunteer, enter public office, and make sure your voice is heard.
NOW is the time for action, not words. If the idea of volunteering for ASHA is scary (they do have openings!!!) start locally.
Volunteer to be a union advocate…Be on the school board…Be on a hospital board…
Be on the city council…Run for mayor…heck run for governor!
Let your voice be heard! (and I don’t mean by posting more)
This administration will change (after all, he can only be in office a max of 8 years). Not all of his promises (or threats) will be carried out. Agendas change…and eventually there will be a new President, new cabinet members, new press corps…new issues…new voices.
There is only one thing that is certain: the one thing that won’t change is the fact that our clients – infants, children, elderly, disabled, etc.. need OUR voice to advocate for them. There is NO ONE who knows what our clients need better than we do.
Volunteer for ASHA: http://leader.pubs.asha.org/article.aspx?articleid=2595599
Get involved locally: http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Involved-in-Local-Politics
Advocate for others: http://www.thewellproject.org/hiv-information/how-be-advocate-yourself-and-others
Regardless of your stance on this administration, WE need YOUR voice.
If you’d like to leave a positive message sharing how you plan on volunteering for change, I’d love to hear it!
Until then…Adventure on!