Someone asked me this week how to accomplish anything with a small group of people who had no particular power to change governments or move the world. They were discouraged by a lighthouse preservation problem that was taking a while to move and change.
I told them that Alice Walker, the womanist, African American poet, ( someone I really love to read), wrote …”The most common way people give up their power is by thinking that they don’t have any.”
Haven’t you had this happen? Hasn’t someone looked at you and told you “You are done here.” You can’t do this. You are finished.” Maybe they said this in kindness and good advice and with the type of sincerity that friends offer…Thank them, but tell them. “No, I am not finished yet. There is still more I can do. Actually, I won’t be done here for a while. Thanks anyway.” You’ll keep going.
I think this is true of small preservation groups. The trick is in the belief that you can accomplish anything. That is part of what not only saved St. Augustine 25 years ago, the belief that a few strong women had that they could save the lighthouse, and it is also what keeps us going and growing today. We have to believe we can do everything we want. We can dive under the sea and look at shipwrecks, we can use our educational programs to really make a diference in the lives of children. We can develop a real museum while protecting our site. We can build boats. We can study shrimping. We can help and encourage and save other lighthouses. Yes, we can.
We say it and talk about and snuggle up to the belief long enough and, well it starts to take….We do believe it. We believe it even though there is that little voice that says…”Maybe the naysayers are right.” No, they are not right. Go ahead and take the actions you need to take. Fight fair and kind, but believe in yourself above all else. What do you think?