Monday, May 31, 2004

SPIRIT OF AMERICA

Two weeks ago, I announced here that I was going to be working for Spirit of America. In exactly what capacity at that time, I didn't quite know. What I did know was what capacity I wanted to be working for them in...

Any.

I had a great talk with Marc Danziger, Spirit of America's COO, (aka to those in the blogoshere as "Armed Liberal" at the well respected and incredibly well written Winds of Change site) and I was hooked. You talk with anyone involved in this organization, and you'll be hooked as well.

Let me tell you one of the key secrets to this organization's appeal: it crosses both sides of the political and ideaological aisle. Heck, I cross both sides, when it gets right down to it. I vote a person, not a party. You could say that I subscribe more to nation building than to the "Ledeen doctrine". However, I temper that with I want to help others help themselves. I want to help them be able to grow all of the opportunites that we have here in America. How do you do that? By providing the tools needed. Crayons, soccer balls, books, TV cameras, computers, all of this and more Spirit of America supports and helps to provide. Read this fantastic piece by Dan Gillmor (whom I personally disagree with ideologically on many subjects, note that this organization is one that we can both support) that was published this past Sunday, and you'll understand perfectly what I am talking about.

I now have the best job of my life: Director of Procurement/Logistics at Spirit of America. I work early mornings and late nights. I work weekends. It's not work. It's the kind of fulfillment you get from making a difference. Oh, sure, I know, this sounds like "liberal mumbo jumbo" to some of you. But here's the reality: not very many people on either side of the aisle have actually spoken with Iraqis or Afghanis. Know why? Sure you do, because when you get personally involved with people, it makes it much more difficult to generalize. There are way more shades of gray that come into the picture. Now, think of what our armed forces people face every day. They face the humanity of the Iraqi people, and they face making black and white decisions that greatly affect both the lives of those people, and their own lives.

You know, when I made a promise to Zeyad at Healing Iraq on a day that he was despondent over the continued violence marring the country, and I said "though my eyes are full of tears, I will not look away" I was making a promise to more than Zeyad. I was making a promise the the people of Iraq. A promise to the people of Iran, and all of the others in nations oppressed by dictators and tyrants, who are fighting for a democratic form of government. A promise to my own two boys to try in what small way I can to make this world safer, to grow trust and friendship between nations. A promise to my husband to honor the service that his family has given our country, and those of others.

I made a promise to myself.

Make the promise.
Make the promise that Jeff Jarvis has made.
Make the promise that Britt Blaser has made.
Make the promise that Jim Hake has made.
Make the promise that Marc Danziger has made.

Make it because you support the troops, make it because you support the Iraqis, make it because you support having a free and prosperous Middle East, make it for whatever reason you want.

Because whatever that reason is, it's the right thing to do.
And Spirit of America is doing it.

No comments: