I have spent the past 20 months volunteering on several political campaigns. In so many ways, I feel I have grown from these experiences. Not only has my circle of acquaintances enlarged as well as my understanding of the boundaries of various entities, but I have learned much of the unwritten history of the east/northeast side of Harris County. As a young adult, I learned that unless you know where you came from, you were never going to grow. You cannot improve unless you know what you value. Unfortunately, over the past decade, our children have spent much more time learning to pass tests than they have about history or building relationships.
I met so many individuals along the campaign trail who have served in various levels of law enforcement. I have also met many individuals who no longer trust or support those who carry a badge. Individuals who learned from the mistakes of others and fought battles put on them by society have been the most prevalent group I met. The second group would be those who truly desire that all people would be judged on their character and nothing else. Both of these groups of people share the desire that people allow healing to happen so that Houston can become not just the most diverse city in the nation, but the most reconciled city as well.
If we could get beyond our differences, we would find there are many more similarities. Once we lose that “wall” that we build due to perceived differences, we begin to laugh together, weep together, dream together, and learn to love unconditionally. Some of you have read articles of mine before where I share about my amazing pastor, Rudy Rasmus. He has quite a reputation of being someone who stands up for the marginalized, loves everyone, and has an extensive vocabulary. Over the course of this campaign season, more than one person told me that I reminded them of him. And that was before they knew I attend St John’s Downtown with him. I am beginning to believe those who tell us that if you want to succeed, you need to associate with successful people, or if you want to be good at something, you must practice it.
Now that my season of working at a local entertainment arena has ended, I’ve started driving with a local ride-share company. With each passenger who has entered my car, I have laughed, shared little tidbits about the city I call home. It is amazing how many individuals who have rode with me have shared at the end of the trip how my words encouraged them. I have had older adults share that it felt good to just have someone talk with them instead of treating them as if they should stay home. Visitors to the city have shared that people here are so friendly. We all have the desire to enjoy life, and I believe we also have the desire to make others feel special. It is time that we intentionally live with a spirit of excellence in reaching out and making everyone feel accepted and loved. Until next time, remember, I love you, and there is nothing you can do about it.
Charlotte Jackson | Contributing Writer