You Can See The Finish Line

Ask yourself: Can I give more? The answer is usually yes. ~Paul Tergat, Kenyan Professional Marathoner

Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose. ~Lyndon B. Johnson


If you’ve ever trained for a marathon, you probably know what a “fast finish” is.

It’s a term for saving a wee bit of energy to use to during that last bit of road right before the finish line. It’s exhiliarating to end a 26.2 mile race sprinting down a chute – spectators screaming for you as you pass by this runner and that one, crossing the finish line just as you expend that last bit of juice. (At least, that’s the goal.)

The tricky thing is timing it just right.

If you start your sprint too soon, you’ll fade and break down before you hit the finish line.

If you start too late, you’ll have left something on the table. You won’t have reached your potential.

The goal is to be able to run full speed through the tape, with nothing left at the end.

It’s a delicate balance.

It’s a balance that we need to strike now, too. We’re almost at the end of a four-year, 48-month ultra marathon. We started with a bang, and we’ve been logging miles ever since. Sometimes it felt like it was never going to end. Sometimes the miles just flew by. All along the way we’ve met folks, made friends, met goals and made new ones.

But here we are – we can see the finish just up ahead. On the other side of that line is a cool sip of water and a place to rest in the shade. Right now we’re still on hot pavement, overtired and dehydrated, cranky and hungry and ready to get off our feet already.

But, friends?

It’s time to start the sprint.

I know that some of you are feeling the impact of these many months and miles. You’ve knocked doors and made calls and attended marches … and it all feels like so much. How much farther? How can we keep going? Can’t we just stop and rest for a moment?

But take a second now, and look behind you. Do you see all those miles that you traveled? The places where you kept going even when you thought you couldn’t? Do you remember that time when you fell over, and someone helped you up – or when you helped someone else who was falling behind?

You’ve come so far. So very, very far.

We’re almost there. You can see the finish line.

So now, look ahead – to the faces of the people on the other side of the finish line. The friends and neighbors that you’ve been working for. Your best friend with cancer; your friend’s son with anxiety. They’re waving you on, from just beyond that finish line.

We’re almost there. You can see the finish line.

Your children – who at dinner one night proudly described how very quiet they are during active shooter drills. Who log into Zoom and pull their masks over their nose and mouth so perfectly, saying “Just like you taught me, mom!” They’ve brought signs to cheer for you – they’re so proud of all that you’ve done, how hard you’ve trained for this moment.

We’re almost there. You can see the finish line.

The grandmother who depends upon medicare and social security. The people whose voting rights have been curtailed. The baby just born that will struggle with the impact of climate change his entire life.

They’re all there, at the finish line.

All cheering.

Cheering for you.

You’re not running this race for yourself. Your not running this race for a candidate. You’re running this race for them. 

And it’s into their arms – all of their arms – that you’ll collapse at the end.

Run through the tape.

Let’s get to work.

Actions for the Week of October 27, 2020

Tuesday: Calling All Lawyers!

We The Action is looking for lawyers around the country to connect directly to organizations working to protect the right to vote and the integrity of our election process. We The Action will provide information/links to specific projects through a digest of opportunities — from staffing remote voter hotlines, to serving as poll workers and observers, to curing mail-in ballots, and, if needed, supporting recount efforts. You can sign up directly with projects you select, and you’ll be notified about urgent needs via text or email, which can be filtered by location and languages you speak.

Check it out and sign up here, send to the lawyers you know, and post on social: https://wetheaction.org/2020

Wednesday: Tiny Pricks

Hat tip to the incomparable Susan Rogan of Rogan’s List for this fine find!

Over the past four years we’ve seen and heard far too much from DT. One artist has taken the quotes and turned them into a community art project – Tiny Pricks. Take a quote (any Trump quote), stitch it onto fabric of your choice, and then send it in to be included in the installation. The goal is for each of them to be placed with a museum, so know in advance that you won’t have rights to your work once it’s sent in.

Isn’t this a wonderful thing to do with nervous fingers on Election Day? Check it out here:

https://www.tinypricksproject.com/participate/

Thursday: Sign Up For Polling Bystander Intervention Training

On Thursday, Hollaback! is going to have another Bystander Intervention Training. It’s a free, one-hour, interactive training to train you on how to safely intervene when you witness voter harassment at the polls on election day using Hollaback!’s 5D’s of bystander intervention.

You’ll learn what to look for and the positive impact that bystander intervention has on individuals and communities. We’ll talk through five strategies for intervention: distract, delegate, document, delay, and direct; and how to prioritize your own safety while intervening.

Thursday night’s training is limited to 500 people, so sign up today. If you miss the cutoff, you can sign up for their November 2 training, which has unlimited participants. https://www.ihollaback.org/bystander-intervention-to-stop-voter-harassment-at-the-polls/

Friday: Call, Text, Email – YOU KNOW WHO

This last action is all about you, and who you know.

Get out your phone, or go through Facebook, or check your email. You are the MOST persuasive person to your own people. That means you’ve got more power to influence those people to vote than anyone that might call or text or email them out of the blue. Use your power, friends!

Find five people to text. Ask them if they have a plan to vote. If they don’t have one, help them create it. Where is early voting, or absentee voting, in your area? What polling places are open? Where’s the best parking? You know your area, your town, your community better than anyone else, and you know your friends. Now is the time to reach out to them and help them realize their own power.

Friends don’t let friends skip this election. Just five people.

Once you do, post to social media that you’ve voted, and you’ve reached out to five friends to make sure they have. Encourage your social network to do the same. If all of us reach out to five friends, just imagine what we could do!

WHEW! GO, TEAM! SUPER PROUD OF YOU!

P.S.: Why don’t you make someone’s day and send this pep talk to a friend or two? I bet they need it.

If you’d like to sign up to get this pep talk and action list in your in-box each week, you can do that here. Welcome, friend!

P.P.S.: If you want to help support this work you can do so via Patreon at
https://www.patreon.com/smalldeedsdone or via paypal at https://www.paypal.me/smalldeeds
My deepest gratitude in advance.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for writing. I read and respond to every e-mail. (Really! I really do!) We’re in this together. Don’t you forget it.

Have a thought? A small deed to suggest? Share it here!

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