Friday, March 25, 2011

You're Never Alone

Yesterday I received an award from Inpact Silver Spring during their annual Impact Now! breakfast at the Silver Spring Regional Services Center (how about finding a better name for this great institution?). I received the Pioneer Award for - well, you know.

As I listened to Jeff describe me to the large crowd, I realized that I actually have been trying to bring people together for a long time, despite my recent lone-wolf routine. I have stopped looking to create a non-MC-affiliated group to advocate for pedestrians here, mostly because I kept failing at it - to my great personal disappointment.

To stand with the other recipients - who had both tried and succeeded in spectacular ways - made me feel a little lonely. Whatever success I have achieved on this issue is mostly due to my efforts to bring people together, so why do I feel so alone? Perhaps it is because I stopped trying to bring people together for a while, and focused on my own personal experience.

I have always encouraged others to record and share their experiences. If not with me, then with public officials. I just took my own advice.

As for the video below, I had not planned to speak. I had just not prepared at all. I knew I would be asked questions afterward, so I only had talking points prepared. Probably better that way!
Looking back, I wish I had thanked Councilmember Valerie Ervin for nominating me for this award.

Knowing that you understand means a lot.

I have watched Impact Silver Spring from afar for many years now. After meeting some of the staff and community members who are involved with them, I can say that I am really impressed. The work that they are doing in the community - though it is hard to quantify - is important and obviously driven by inspired people. Optimism and risk-taking combined to open-up the community. Receiving recognition from them gives me hope, and I don't feel so alone anymore.

I am so grateful to be able to add my story to the tapestry of personal tales that Impact is weaving so carefully and intricately.

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