To play the long game and create a better future, we must be intentional about joining protest and resistance with sustained acts of persistence.
It happens to most of us at one time or another: you’re driving, you get distracted for a split second, and your car starts to drift - maybe toward a tree, for instance. Your impulse may be to fixate on the tree, but expert drivers (and our own experience) teach us to bring our focus back to the road, because wherever you place your attention is where you’ll go.
A lot of energy lately has been channeled into acts of protest and resistance. This is understandable; the new administration is challenging core American values and leaving millions vulnerable. An electricity has been activated in those who recognize that we the people are participants, rather than bystanders - in the making of America.
While resistance and protest are critical in holding our leaders accountable and highlighting what we don’t want as a nation, it is just as important that we lay out a compelling vision for what we do want, otherwise our efforts become the civic equivalent of pointing at the tree while our car veers off the road.
America is moved by resistance, and shaped through persistence.
Persistence means setting a clear course forward and committing to it.
Persistence seeks to harness power, rather than fight against it.
Persistence means failing forward.
Persistence is creative.
Persistence is strategic.
Persistence is energizing.
First 100 Ways is a persistence movement. We have mapped out strategic daily actions that each of us can complete in 100 seconds to collectively move our communities and our country forward. Some of these actions are politically oriented. Others are about becoming informed citizens and neighbors. Many are simply about owning our shared humanity. Our long game is a strong, compassionate, unified America.
Being a persistence movement means there are days when reprehensible things happen and we don’t respond to them directly. Instead of reacting, we stay the course. Instead of focusing on a particular branch of our government, we will continue to nurture the roots: tolerance, inclusivity, compassion, and freedom.
It’s okay to feel afraid in the face of uncertainty. But let fear inspire courage. Let uncertainty spark creativity. Let us recognize the obstacles while keeping our hands steadfast on the wheel.
The road ahead is long and full of promise. Let us persist, and together we will elevate each other and deepen the soul of America.