When people arrive at a point where they have become so frustrated, feel so powerless and must do something to share their feelings and call attention to issues of grave importance, they call those of like mind to rally, often in our nation’s capital, the focal point of so many memorable gatherings.
Washington remains the most important place to demonstrate people’s support or disdain of one issue or another. Sometimes it is in seeing one another that many take heart and find energy to continue to support a cause.
People are now in the final stages of preparing for the 2017 March for Life, the 44th year since the Supreme Court legalized abortion. They will board buses, get into cars and vans or take planes to Washington, some for the first time and others for a second third, fourth, 10th or more time.
When people gather, they draw strength from one another, and seeing the size of the group that believes as they do, they become energized to return to their homes to continue to work for their cause.
Grass roots efforts seem to call people together more often than ever before. This year, the Women’s March brought thousands and thousands of women and men that support them together in Washington but also in many cities across the nation and around the world to call attention to women’s rights as human rights.
So many issues have been raised during the recent contentious election cycle in this country. Nothing has been resolved, but it has become clear that issues of respect for religious groups, for immigrants, for people of color and many others have coalesced into a cry for human rights for all people, especially those who have been marginalized, and have surfaced as issues that must not only be acknowledged and paid lip service but also must be given priority on a table filled with important issues.
As a people who rely on relationships and communities to thrive, we must ask our faith communities to focus on these issues. If we don’t talk about what is important to us, we can’t actively take steps to change what has been accepted as the status quo.
For instance, young people who believed in DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — and signed up for it, are ready to reapply but feel uncertain about their futures. Some are frightened of what may happen, and no clear answers have been found. We need to stand with our immigrants, those who believed in a system that would give them the opportunities they need to succeed. At the very least, we need to clarify what will happen to them, to the program, to all of us as we move forward.
The rally, the march, the call for justice goes out to all. The time to wait for someone else to do something has passed. Each day, we must find a way to express our support for issues we believe must be addressed for everyone’s benefit.