In my last post on Crowdfunding a Dream, I talked about the fact that my original goal of starting a TV show was just that would let viewers take an inside look at the process of taking a book from conception through publication. And then it became something more. It became a mission to help others reclaim their power by learning to do what the powers that be fear most: to stand up, speak out, and make themselves heard.
A week has passed since that last post. We now have just 18 days to raise $1.25 million dollars needed for the show, and my mission hasn’t changed. I am still out to help start a revolution by teaching people how to share their voices. Whether there is anyone else with me on this project, I remain committed to that goal.
A Renewed Commitment
But today, it hit me that there is an even more important reason to commit myself to this project. This isn’t just a mission that has the power to restore hope to those who feel they have no better future waiting for them than to rely on government intervention to save them. This isn’t just a mission that has the ability to shake up the way business is done and how power is distributed. Those things are true, but it is much more powerful than that.
This is a mission that has the ability to end the hatred and divisions that stand between us, to bring an end to the wars, by removing the convenient labels we use for one another and replacing those with the complex realities of who we are as individuals.
It Started with Sharing Stories
The idea came in my second interview with Suria. There I am, listening to her story, hearing her talk about her life and her hopes and her dreams and the things that she’s been through. I can see my own life reflected in her words. She is Muslim, I am Catholic, but we are united by our shared pain, our shared struggles, our shared humanity, and our shared love of God.
I do not try to convert her. She doesn’t try to convert me. We just share these moments together, and the difference it has made in my life is profound. I see this all the time. It is easy to hate what you do not know. It is harder to hate someone when you know who they are and what they have been through to get where they are.
I Am More Than Your Label
I am white, but that is not all that I am. I am Catholic, but that is not all that I am. I am a woman, but that is not all that I am. I am a mother and a wife and a daughter and a sister, but none of these things represents all of who I am. Labels make it easy to dismiss me, to put me in the back of your mind and stamp me irrelevant. I reject your effort to define me.
I reclaim my right to be a complex person, and I will assert that power by telling my story to you. And the truth is that if we would just spend a day together swapping our stories, listening to them not to deconstruct them or to change the other person but to seek understanding and to try to see ourselves in them, we would part as friends. That is how peace happens – when we stop seeing labels and start seeing faces, hearing voices, and our hearts can no longer continue to dismiss one another as irrelevant.
Not Just for Americans
40 Day Writer Reality TV needs to happen. But it is not something that needs to happen just for America or for Americans. It needs to be open to all nations, all races, all creeds, all genders, and all persuasions. This is where peace begins. By people gathering together, committed to listening not for the purpose of trying to change one another but for the purpose of understanding one another, and to see our own humanity written in their stories.
We can tell these stories in fiction or non-fiction, but they need to be told, and they need to be heard. This is where peace begins: with writers doing what we do best – telling stories to help change hearts and minds. Reject and defy the labels that others try to place on you. Reclaim your right to be a complex person. Assert your power by telling your story so that others may know who you are and why.
The Power to Change Things Is Ours
It only takes changing one life to change the entire course of human history. This project has the ability to change the world, just by choosing to reject the labels that divide us, to lift up our voices, and to help one another share our stories.
If you’re ready to be part of #writing a #revolution, you can donate to the fund or you can share this post with others and encourage them to donate. Let’s do this. Together we can change the world.