As most of you know, I donated to President Elect Obama’s campaign a couple of times. I was sent a survey by his people asking about the experience and inquiring about willingness to play a future role in his ongoing campaign, and I filled it out. One of the questions they asked was “What was you greatest challenge during the campaign? What was your greatest success?” (Or a similar wording. I didn’t copy it verbatim.)
I didn’t quite answer them in the same words I’m going to use here, but I came pretty close…I’m just adding some stuff because — well — it’s my blog, and I can! 🙂
My greatest challenge was also my greatest success. As many of you know, I work on a Christian college campus. As statistics will tell you, our churches (and thus staff and students at the school) are largely middle-class, white, Conservative people. I’m not judging anyone in saying that…it’s just statistically what we’re made up from. Of course, we DO have higher (and lower) income families, minorities, and Liberals sitting in our pews…but largely, we’re statistically not Mr. Obama’s base.
As such, it was a BIG challenge being the “campus Liberal” as I’ve come to be known in some circles. In fact, there are STILL some folks on campus who are fairly guarded around me, just because I filled in a different circle than they did. (Sad, or stupid? You be the judge.) It wasn’t easy coming into work some days, knowing that there would be people who would confront me on my voting practices, and worse that some would question my moral fabric due to the whole “pro-life” thing (and, once again, I actually AM pro-life…but I guess I’m just not pro-life ENOUGH for some people). In many ways, it was kind of a living hell.
But that was also my greatest achievement. I held my ground and didn’t apologize for feeling how I feel (though I once or twice found myself apologizing over my tact). There were a couple of situations where someone asked me for my honest thoughts and I was able to explain things reasonably and calmly. A few of those who listened told me that I changed their thinking on some things. I have since come to find out that some even voted for Mr. Obama on election day.
…but better than that…
One student went out of her way to stop by my office and tell me that it was “because of me” that she’s not afraid to tell people that she’s a Democrat anymore. I know that may not seem like a lot to some people, but it meant a lot to me. Even if it hadn’t been for “my” party, I’d still be proud of helping someone find the courage to be who they ARE as opposed to what they’re expected to be. That’s a good feeling…
…and I just wanted to share it with all of you. 🙂