Why We March

Yesterday was a day to be inspired. Brandi, Brie, and I, along with buddies Lisa and Ashley joined approximately 1,500 of our closest friends to walk the streets of Rockford at the Second Annual Women’s March. The sun was warm, but the energy of the crowd sizzled. Chants were heard all along the route of the march. “What do we want?” shouted one marcher. “Justice!” shouted the crowd. “When do we want it?” “Now!” came the emphatic response. There were young families with children in strollers and wagons. There were older people, including one woman who carried a sign that said, “Now You’ve Pissed Off Grandma!” It was a day to be together, to feel like we are not alone in our worries for this country, and to feel like we have the power to make a difference.

It was also a day for reflection. As you can imagine, that number of marchers caused some significant traffic issues downtown and police officers needed to halt the marchers briefly to allow traffic to pass. This seemed common sense to me, but a couple of marchers behind us complained and asked the question, “Why did we allow them to do that?” My initial thought was that it was considerate and consideration matters to me. But then I shared with my friend, Lisa, a story that I remember Wayne Dyer told about Mother Teresa. In the 1970’s, Mother Teresa was approached by protesters of the Viet Nam War and asked to attend their march. Mother Teresa said no to the request, saying that she would not march AGAINST the war, but if they ever had a march FOR peace, she would be there. After sharing this with Lisa, I reflected as we walked along. What was I marching for? My sign said, “Vote like women’s issues matter…because they do.” But it was bigger than that. I was marching for a country that has respect for all human rights. I was marching to support people feeling they had a voice in this country. I was marching for all human beings to be empowered to live their best life. I know these things can not be accomplished with hate and my faith in God tells me to treat others with human kindness and respect.

At the end of the March, I was standing outside with my posse, when a documentary filmmaker approached us to take video and get a sound bite about why we marched. My wife, daughter, and friends moved away from me as though I had parted the Red Sea in the day of Moses. My words came easily because I knew now why I marched. I am not saying what we do does not matter. Our actions do have value. But so does the intention, the source of motivation for why do what we do. In the streets, in our homes, in our schools, in our workplace, in our churches, let’s remember to reflect on our why. Then, we will truly live a life of intention.