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The Power of One

the power of oneWe are living in troubled times. Terror attacks in Paris. Domestic terror attack in California. Donald Trump spewing hatred and climbing higher in the polls. Justice Scalia claiming that African-Americans should stick to “slower” Universities. The threat of mass deportation. Where does it end? How can an average person fight back? Do we all need to buy a super hero cape and go out to fight the perils or do we just sit at our computers and be digital activists? I actually have an answer for you.

A few years ago, I attended a juvenile justice conference titled The Power of One. While the conference focused on how the power of one arrest, one call to Court Intake, and one decision to detain a juvenile can make a difference in one juvenile’s life, I came away with a larger perspective. What if we actually gave a shit and decided to take care of our little corner of the world. What if we picked up a piece of trash and threw it into a garbage can. What if we helped a little old lady cross the street. What if we told a neighbor that their car’s headlights were on. Simple shit.

We, on our own, cannot take on the world’s woes. We, well those of us who actually vote, rely on the people who we place in positions of power to take on the woes of our country. The rest of us are left to make a difference in our own communities. Can you mentor? Do it. Can you become a foster parent? Do it. Can you stop your car at a stop sign? Do it. It’s that fucking simple. The traffic light is red. Stop. Are you going to turn the corner with your car? Yield to pedestrians. Must I go on?

The power of one. One decision to enrich your corner of the world. One decision to aid a writer hoping to attend VONA. One decision to assist a playwright to get their work to a larger audience. One phone call to a friend in need. Do it.

Be a Father. Be a Mother. Be a friend. Do it.

Recycle. Reuse. Do it.

Register to vote. Be careful with your vote. Help a senior citizen get to the voting location. Do it.

Just do it. You have the power of One. One of 319 million in the USA. If you are Latino, one of 54 million (65 million, if we count the undocumented) in the USA. Just imagine if we ALL used the power of One for good. Just imagine.

The power of One.

 

The post-Christmas blues

My home no longer looks complete without the Christmas tree standing in the corner of the dining room twinkling at me. There’s a hole where there once was a symbol of smiling children and family hugs. January tends to be a quiet month for me. As winter begins to take a firm grip on the outdoors and nights alone become the norm, it becomes a struggle to maintain the cheer the holiday season brought.

 

Lamps are lit in every room in a feeble attempt to keep the darkness at bay. And I still walk around where the tree stood for three short weeks.

 

How do I combat the blues? It’s very simple, I plug in my neon palm tree and respond to party and event invites.  January’s is almost fully booked so if you want me, you better invite me soon 😉

 

Here we go

2012. Whether you want to call it Two Thousand-12 or Twenty-12, it’s a new year. A fresh start. An unwritten page. Personally, I’m entering the new year with a new name and a new commitment to be a better person. Nothing really different from past years, but the ticking of life’s clock makes it just a tad more important to leave the world a better place than when I entered it.

Last year brought me some great opportunities to give back to society, I jumped in with both feet and never looked back. I made sure my super heroine cape was in good repair and affixed a Being Latino logo to my social butterfly wings. Had my life not taken a curve, a few years ago, I might be sitting on my sofa just waiting to transfer my ample bootie into a rocking chair. Instead I am out and about; enjoying special time with family and friends, sitting in a movie theater, making brunch dates, saving up for Broadway plays, dancing at house parties, and in general making AARP membership the gold standard.

So, borrowing a line from one of my favorite writers, “I’m going to go out into the world and be a hero. If you want to, you can watch.” Gwen Zepeda