Hey You, One Person, Keep Doing This One Thing

Sitting at the long tables in a conference room in Chicago last Saturday, we received our assignment: write a story about our involvement in this movement.

The movement? Something the majority of Americans agree on, regardless of their political affiliation…

  • Preventing those with mental illnesses from purchasing guns
  • Subjecting private gun sales and gun show sales to background checks
  • Implementing a ban on assault weapons

But our task today was specific to our individual roles within Moms Demand Action. And in this room on this day, I was seated beside others who also are behind-the-scenes people like me: the data crunchers.

The data people in our organization, like any organization, are the ones responsible for inputting new members’ information into the database, for creating lists of upcoming events, for sending out emails to members, etc.

It’s not flashy.

It almost feels disconnected from the “real” work of advocating for better gun legislation, of holding support groups for gun violence survivors, of speaking to a crowd about actions they can take next.

Nonetheless, I picked up my pen that Saturday afternoon and began to write. About being a data person.

Only one. I’m just one person. Dozens, hundreds, thousands are killed. I’m still here.

Being just me, I open my laptop. I pull out the sheets of paper from our last Moms’ meeting.

And I start typing, adding one name after another into the database, just me and my computer.

I type in Brittany’s name. I remember Brittany—she shared her fear about her son beginning a new school year. Would he be safe?

I type in “Nancy.” I see her smile and her enthusiasm as she shared at the meeting about the BeSmart secure gun storage program. It saves lives.

I type in Bob’s name. I barely remember Bob at the meeting. He sat in the back. He said little.

But Bob was still there. Bob showed up. I don’t know who Bob might have talked to the next day about gun safety. Probably somebody.

Some one. Maybe just one. But still one.

One person at a time, we move forward. We look out for each person.

One person—just like me.

I put down my pen. I read over my words. I even read them aloud to our group.

My data companions in the room can relate.

If you hold an unglamorous position in your organization, too, know that your work has value, whatever it is. It matters. You matter.

Please keep being your one beautiful self, doing your one important thing.

Share your thoughts in the comments.

7 thoughts on “Hey You, One Person, Keep Doing This One Thing

  1. LA Paylor

    my zoom friend and I spoke yesterday about gun usage. She is fatalistic saying, the gun lovers scream about their rights so nothing can be done.
    but…More citizens want some limits placed than don’t. More people in the USA want something done to control the violence.
    Uncontrolled usage is not working.
    when someone screams about their rights to own a killing weapon, I say well, how many? under what circumstances? not everyone is granted a marriage, driving, or hunting license. There are limits in all aspects of life, in order to live in a peaceful coexistence with others. Just like a marriage, you can have peace and joy or you can demand rights.
    demanding the right to kill others…. 8 year olds killing 6 year olds because they had access to guns… one person’s rights, take another person’s right to safety away.

  2. Tea With Jennifer

    This isn’t a problem here in Australia now since the 1996 Port Arthur massacre (1 gunman with mental health issues went on a killing spree, shooting 58 men, women & children, 35 of whom died that day).

    Extremely strict Federal Gun laws were enacted by our Government from that point.

    Gun laws that had previously been lobbied for before this horrific event but had come to a stand off.

    You’re doing an amazing work Liza, be encouraged in can be done!

    Let’s pray it doesn’t take a massacre like we had, to do it! ?
    Bless you, Jennifer

  3. Jean Wise

    I love and admire your passion and awareness of the importance of showing up and doing at least one thing. Reminds me a little of the old story of the starfish “I’ll make a difference for this one.” Inspiring way to start my weekend. Thank you.

  4. Joanne

    Yes! Keep up the good work, Lisa. We often wonder how just one person can make a difference and you are showing us. That is very encouraging. I had never heard of this organization but I will definitely be checking them out. Thank you.

  5. Barbara Harper

    This is encouraging. These kinds of details may seem unglamorous, but no organization can function efficiently without them. If everyone does their part well, large or small, the whole group can move as it’s supposed to.

  6. Paula

    Hey, Lisa. The power of one person can make a difference. It’s easy to feel like we’re just a drop in the bucket, but that’s not true. Every single person has the potential to create positive change in the world. Your voice IS being heard. The world needs more people like you who are willing to make a difference.
    Visiting today from Anita’s

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