We hold our annual awards in November right before Thanksgiving, and sharing our honorees with you always makes me thankful for the many wonderful and truly power-full LGBT and ally people I get to meet who are making positive changes in the world. When the late news broke of the Columbian plane crash that killed 71 and left only six alive, however, I was compelled to pull my letter and rewrite it.
How power-less something like this tragedy can make you feel, something that caused me to reflect on our personal power. The fact is that each one of us is power-full – we are not power-less. We have more personal power to change things than we’re often willing to admit. When we use our power, we risk rocking the boat. And when we allow fear to take over, we don’t believe we’re strong enough to handle things, we worry what other people will think and say about us. We often don’t want to risk using our personal power because we’re afraid of its consequences.
Yet we can and do positively change the world every day by our seemingly inconsequential decisions … when we use our power appropriately. From the power to create a new team, to reenergize an organization, to hold a Pride Night or to stand together with others who share your beliefs – these are some of the positive changes you can read about in this issue that you can apply to your life today if you choose.
Learning the lessons of using personal power appropriately and applying them to your life can be hard. But when you do, you’re really making the world better. We all are potential catalysts for positive change, for raising awareness on a global scale about the importance of acceptance, inclusion, equality, respect and good old fashioned kindness in our shared global society.
When you stand up to do the right thing, you also serve as a teacher or mentor to others who are watching you, looking for a positive example to follow. Like throwing a stone across the water, your positive actions send ripples of change far beyond your ability to see them.
I love the quote on power used originally by John F. Kennedy in his first State of the Union address to Congress in 1962 and reused by President Obama to talk about our country’s Constitution. But apply it to your personal constitution, your value system because it “makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress.”
Thanks to each of you for standing up when it’s appropriate – for being a part of this positive sports diversity movement that enables individuals to feel special rather than different. On a personal note, I love having you as a partner for progress!
Connie Wardman, Editor-in-Chief