Personal Narrative

Give the world a lever long enough and it will move even introverts into action

women's march denverThis morning I had some spam hit my email that I very nearly didn’t delete. I stopped, read it, nearly pulled it out of my spam trap, but ultimately deleted it. It belonged in my spam because I didn’t ask for it. But it was about something that I’m interested in, and I was surprised by the fact that I was actually interested in it.

It was a call to an Affordable Care Act support march in Denver. And the fact that I paused to consider marching myself is what surprised me.

I have never been one for marches or rallies. I’m not a fan of crowds, for starters, and I’m an introvert. In college I went to a couple of Take Back the Night rallies (the marches are, understandably, only for women), but I’d guess that the total number of rallies or marches I’ve been to in my life is less than the fingers on one hand. The last rally I attended was to support my wife after her Susan G. Komen Three Day. But since this was before Komen’s issues with Planned Parenthood, there wasn’t anything political about the rally that I recall.

There is almost no question that there will be marches in the next few years that I will feel compelled to join. This march didn’t rise to that level, but the next march in support of Muslim-Americans and Muslim refugees that I hear about in the Denver area might well draw me out to participate. I’ve known too many good Muslims, had too many Muslim neighbors and co-workers to whom I grew close, not to support them. And somehow I think there will be other issues that draw me out as well, even if I don’t yet know what those issues are.

There’s something about where the country is, about the feel of tension in the air, about the need to be willing to stand up and fight for my values and for what I believe in. Something in all that has started moving a lever in me that I didn’t even know I had.

Archimedes supposedly said “Give me a place to stand, and a lever long enough, and I will move the world.”

Sometimes, though, it’s the world that moves you. And this time, the world may have had a long enough lever to move the soul of an introvert into action.

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