A Call to Civic Action

I will never discount the power of simply showing up.

I do not advocate for showing up without a commitment to make an impact but my belief is that the majority of success starts when you start. How can you get started? Well, how about:

Start putting up your hand. Start sharing your view. Start helping. Start asking for help. Start!

Showing up, the starting step, is greater than just the first step. It often is the biggest step. Showing up is the most common link for getting something important done.

I will briefly share my story about one of the first times I learned the importance of showing up.

I was seventeen years old and there was a municipal election in my home town of Niagara Falls. I liked politics. I did not understand enough of it but I liked it. I knew that the work of elected government mattered.

So I showed up. I volunteered for the re-election campaign of incumbent Mayor Wayne Thompson. I remember signing in with the older gentlemen who sized me up as I stood out compared to the typical volunteer.

My role? Driving people to the polls that could not get there themselves. So that's what I did.  I got to help democracy be exercised. Mayor Thompson was re-elected. I received a 'Team Thompson' tee shirt.

I wore that shirt until it fell apart. It was a semi-hit in high school. I was reminded about my shirt just this evening. In fairness, nobody else I knew had a Team Thompson tee shirt because nobody else I knew showed up.

So I encourage you to show up. Show up for the first day. Show up every day. Show up to volunteer for something. I hope to gather a few volunteers to show up for my campaign. I will or I won't. But if I do, they will have a tee shirt. They might end up with a story and a first step toward something bigger. 

Adam McArthur