My mother participated in numerous civil rights events. She picketed Jefferson Bank, was an active member of the Congress of Racial Equality, and protested for affordable housing, and marched for equal rights for all people. My mother also believed in writing companies, elected officials, and anyone else to inform them of her experiences and opinions of what was right and wrong. There was no an election that was held in which she did not vote. She was going to be heard. Even when she was wrong, she was going to be heard.
My mother did not tell me about her actions in the Civil Rights movement. Once I learned all she had done I was proud. I vowed that day that I would always make sure that I voted. I don’t care if we are electing a dog catcher I am going to the election booth. When I think about my mother and those who died for this right did to make this possible I know that I must stand up and be heard. You must vote. Every vote does count and elections have consequences. If you are not standing up to be heard then you must accept what happens and do not complain about anything. Not only is it important to vote but it is even more important that you become an informed voter. Do not accept everything you hear on the radio and see on television as the truth. Learn the truth for yourself.
The other lesson here is the power of the pen. Whenever I tell my husband about something I don’t think is right he responds, “Are you going to write a letter?” Absolutely! I watched my mother write and I have no problem sitting down writing a letter. As a constituent or customer I will be heard. I will tell you if your employees are not treating the customer right. I will tell you if I do not think you are voting in the interest of the people. I will tell you are neglecting a large market with your products. I will tell you if I think a $4 charge to spend my money in your bank is ridiculous. You cannot expect anything to change if no one demands it to change. I have written numerous letters and received some good responses and stopped patronizing companies who do not respond well. (Remember it’s the principle). The point here is that we do not continue to accept bad service, products, or representation by anyone. Stand up and be heard.