As we begin 2017, I think it is safe to say that we are all wondering what the year will bring.

No matter what side of the political fence you stand, I believe that this is the time to stand together. 2017 is the time to BE SEEN!

This is not a time for us to retreat into our own world and assume that others will do the work. Yes, there will always be others who will do the work, but we have to work too. Because at the root of love is always labor. There is no easy way around it, if we want a nation united, we have to get to work. Extend your hand, have a conversation, build a bridge instead of a wall. Let people know who you are.

“Let people KNOW who YOU are.”

Yes, it can feel overwhelming and we find ourselves asking, “What can we really do?” We wonder how we will find time to make a difference in a system that seems so broken, when our lives are already so busy and sometimes so hard. And the answer is simple. We just need to BE SEEN. Let people know who you are and why your life matters, and why their lives matter too. Listen to what people are saying who share a different point of view, and ask them for the same respect. It will be messy, uncomfortable and it won’t always work. Some conversations will end up so heated, you will need to step away. And that is ok, because the next conversation might hold a beautiful space for hope.

“…the next conversation might hold a beautiful space for HOPE.”

Help in ways you have never helped before. Start at home by listening to your partner, your children and your neighbors. Look for opportunities in your community, and outside of your community, where you can BE SEEN and maybe bridge a gap. Smile more. Slow down a bit. Meet a neighbor. Pick up litter. Attend an outreach meeting. Meet with your State Representative. Run for office. Wear a pantsuit. Enjoy your life. And watch the tiny ripples you create catch the light with love and possibility across 2017.

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