On New Year’s Day 2017, I awoke with a feeling of sadness and fatigue instead of hope and renewal. My heart was heavy after weeks and months of the media barraging us with stories filled with uncertainty, fear, and hateful sentiments regarding the state of our union. But that morning, my mind turned to these words from President Obama...
“Hope is not blind optimism. It's not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It's not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it. Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.”
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
As a former Peace Corps volunteer, self-employed photographer, wife, mother, and “human connectivity conservationist,” I have always been one to take the road less traveled. Often I follow my heart before my head has time to catch up.
During the first week of 2017, I could not see the path I was about to embark on, but I knew in my heart I could not sit silent and let the fear and hate sentiments drive me away from connection, movement, and change.
I decided I must stand up for what I believe in by creating a lawn sign for my home. I found inspiration online through a doormat designed by Wisconsin-based Kristin Joiner and, because one lawn sign was going to cost $80 to be printed, took a leap of faith that 199 other people would like a sign for their home too and had 200 lawn signs made. I quickly devised a plan to promote the distribution of signs by blasting every contact I had in email and Facebook and turn the revenue into a fundraiser for KUOW, Seattle's NPR affiliate, to support the freedom of press. I worked day and night to find ways to spread the love and sell the signs, popping up around Seattle, wearing my disco ball helmet, and selling out of my SUV.
By the end of the month, I was filled with hope, surrounded by positive sentiments, propelled by community around me, and uplifted by old and new friends throughout the country who bought signs to spread throughout their communities. I was reminded daily how deeply connected we are and that we are stronger together.
My dream is to have our sanctuary city of Seattle lead the wave of love for humanity that will unite our country. Please consider joining the Believe Love Unite movement, purchasing items for yourself, and sharing in your community.
All the Best -- Founder Tara Clark