Finding Fellowship in a World of Isolation

Photo via Unsplash

It is so easy nowadays to feel isolated, isn’t it? Staying in our homes all the time doesn’t give us much of an opportunity to see what’s going on in our communities. And social media doesn’t give us the clearest of pictures.

As we inch towards the last 80-odd days to the election, and more articles are being written about the growing problems with the Post Office, and election deadlines, and new rules regarding vote by mail, and so forth, I can feel more people start to feel uneasy.

Is this you? Are you feeling uneasy?

I seem to vacillate between this sense of unease and a small percolating of excitement that we can end this nightmare soon. But I have to admit, it’s hard to stay buoyant.

There is one thing that does help, though. Connecting with other voters who are taking action.

I had the opportunity this past weekend to attend a Zoom training called, “Phone Banking for Introverts.” I noticed one of the organizers a couple of weeks ago on Twitter and reached out to her about this training. I’ve since spoken to her and her two co-trainers, as I’m writing a post about them and the importance of phone banking in our COVID-19 world. (Be on the lookout later this week for this story!)

Now, I don’t classify myself as an introvert but 1) I wanted to participate in their training so I could do a good write up of it, and 2) I wanted to get better at phone banking. Every phone banker I’ve talked to has their own way of approaching conversations and I’ve learned a lot from them over the years.

So I approached the training with a few perspectives, but what I didn’t prepare for was how I would feel afterwards.

When the training link went live, I was surprised. What I saw was 5 pages of participants! That means there were about 100 people on the call! And furthermore, they all stayed throughout the training. Other than the one or two who had to leave at the halfway mark, everyone else stayed for the full two hours. All the way through the training, through the practice session, and many stayed afterwards to ask the hosts their remaining questions, which they answered graciously and honestly.

After I thanked the hosts for the great training, I closed Zoom and took stock. I felt great. I realized that it meant the world to me to be in contact with so many people who were inspired enough to attend a training and stick with it until the end.

I tell you this story because I want you to know that there are a lot of people out there who are getting in the game, and getting involved with this election. If you are already involved in taking action in some way, I hope you will leave a comment below to let me know what you’re doing. The more you can see what I’m seeing, the better.

And if you haven’t yet taken action, consider doing one small thing this week. I can tell you from personal experience that you will feel good about it. Every action counts, no matter how big or small it is.

It will take an army of us to take this administration down, and get the wins we want in our communities and states, but know that the army is building. Trust me, if you take action and then see that candidate win, it’ll be the sweetest feeling. I want that for you.

If you’re just not sure where to start, send me a message. Let’s talk through what might be the right fit for you. I’m here to help.


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8 replies

  1. Oh man I want to add them to my google doc! Do they have a website?

    November is coming. Make sure you’re registered to vote here . Request your ballot to vote by mail here .

    • I phone bank daily for my local state legislature candidate in Washington. I write postcards, either for her campaign or for the national Postcards to Voters program. I subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s daily blog and I watch her history lectures twice a week on FB. I mention the latter because it is so instrumental in my education about current politics and having the basis to make arguments if needed against Trumpians like my husband and sister!!

      Tokyosand, I’m sure you can’t control, but there is an NRA ad at the bottom of your column today.

      • Going local is great idea. There’s the reverse coattails effect at the ballot box! (As for the ads, you’re right, I don’t control them. That said, I have to laugh when I hear that people are seeing right wing ads on my site. If those organizations want to waste their money like that, I’m like, ok.)

    • They offer their trainings through Swing Left SF. If you go to their website, you can find them there. 👍🏼

  2. I’m one of 4 coordinators at the Unitarian Church in Northampton MA. We started writing Vote Forward letters in Feb and in 5 weeks did 1430. We paused when COVID hit, then dove into postcarding with Reclaim Our Vote and others. Over about 2 months we’ve mailed 8,000. And, here’s the thing – from about 35 people at first, our group has grown and grown – now we have 130 active folks and the last round of postcards, we distributed 2,000 in 2 weeks! Many people are “getting it” – that the way to stay strong internally in the midst of these crises is to take meaningful action – in community!

  3. I have been writing #PostcardsToVoters since it began. Lately, I have been writing some everyday for the #MailtheVoteFL campaign. My little part has helped keep me from utter despair.

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