As was evidenced last night, during the elections, there is still too much fear in our country. Too many people either voted out of fear or they didn't cast a vote due to their loss of hope. This wasn't a referendum on the current administration so much as it was a referendum on the fear that is rampant in our country.
This is one of the main reasons that we started WGTTH. Fear. Fear and the loss of hope. I think the elections last night showed not only the fear that is spreading like wildfire throughout this land but there is a wholesale loss of hope. It's extremely saddening and maddening at the same time.
On that note, we wanted to talk about the Game Changers event last week. We attended the Game Changer awards last Thursday in New York City, for which we were invited. It was an incredible evening filled with wonderful and innovative ideas and mountains of hope. It was the most inspirational group of people that we have ever been with.
Between Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Sean Penn, Anderson Cooper, Dylan Ratigan, Geoffrey Canada, Louise Story, Nora Ephron, Gayle King, Michael Bloomberg, Matt Taibbi, and of course, Arianna Huffington, not to mention all the other great minds, this was a room filled with ways to change the way we all play the game. There were too many people to mention and too many people to thank. We thoroughly enjoyed the evening and we can't tell you how inspired we were when we left.
As I said in my acceptance speech, we do not feel like we are game changers. We tweaked the rules a bit, but we didn't change the game. We took a look around us and said "this is an opportunity." We didn't set out to change the world, or the rules for that matter.
We don't offer fame. We don't offer fortune. We don't offer a new world where everything is fine and dandy. What we try to offer is hope. What we try to offer is a shield from the fear that is consuming this country. We offer a hand up not a handout.
Of course, living with hope and without fear, doesn't make the world a just place. But, it does help. It does make a difference. It does change the way we see things. It does change the way we view our world. Just ask anyone that has lost hope how it feels to regain it. Ask them how they got through another day.
Similar to the efforts of Sean Penn in Haiti (not that we are comparing ourselves to him in any way, shape, or form) we are attempting to rebuild America. True, we are not literally rebuilding America the way he is helping to rebuild Haiti, but more in a figurative sense. Our way of life is threatened. Our foundation has been shaken to the core. We are a country that is littered with rubble. Most of us are suffocating under the weight of the debris.
Again, similar to Sean's efforts in Haiti, we have a chance to reach our hands out to others in need. We have the chance to pull others from the rubble. We have the opportunity to stretch our hands out and say "I will not let you fall by the wayside." You have the chance to say "I will not watch as my community sinks into the abyss." You have the chance to say "My neighbors, my neighborhood, and my community mean more to me than partisan hackery or my party affiliation."
We have so many opportunities, not only because we are American but, because we, you and I, are game changers. Do you have the guts to change the game?
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