Along with millions of people around the world, I watched the World Cup with a sense of joy, but also with a heavy heart that not even the greatest international sporting event could heal.
You see, while I was watching the World Cup Final I kept asking myself one simple question, “What will it take for people in America to get re-inspired and stand up in the name of peace and justice?”
Will it take the massive BP oil spill that’s destroying the environment as we speak and threatening the livelihood of countless generations?
Will it take the murder of an unarmed young man by the name of Oscar Grant in Oakland, California by a police officer?
Will it take the moral and financial bankruptcy and corruption of Wall Street that continues to prosper in the midst of historic unemployment numbers comparable to the Great Depression?
Will it take the massive failure of our educational system that continues to see record numbers of young people drop out of school and end up in our costly and broken juvenile justice system?
Will it take the shredding of the U.S. Constitution through the passage of anti-immigration legislation in Arizona?
What will it take for us to get involved?
What will it take for us to stop the robbing of America’s soul?
For many of us, our political awakening happens when a personal tragedy strikes or when an issue directly impacts us.
For many of us, we’re so caught up in life that we miss the undeniable truth that every issue is interconnected and therefore affects us all.
For many of us, we’re simply trying to survive that all we can think about is putting food on the table or working non-stop to simply pay our next rent or mortgage bill.
And like so many of us, I still question if I even matter in the larger scheme of things.
I still question whether or not my involvement really makes a difference.
I still question whether the strain on my personal health and family is all worth it.
But even during these moments of uncertainty, I know that I have a responsibility and that countless people before me asked themselves these exact same questions and continued organizing even in the midst of the most dire of situations.
I know that my mother sacrificed countless dreams for her sons to be the first to graduate from college.
I know that my relatives continue to die in the blistering fields of CA so that people all around the world could eat fresh, organic vegetables.
I know that our ancestors were beaten and imprisoned for wanting to vote or own a piece of land.
I know that these stories are real and reason enough to become inspired and involved again.
I know that deep down in our hearts we have a burning desire and a strong thirst for change.
And I know that the stakes are too high to stay complacent and not get involved in positively transforming America.
But I also know that not all of us are full-time community organizers going block to block registering new voters or planning large-scale actions.
But I do know that all of us can make a decision to do something, no matter how small, to change the present course of history.
All of us can send an email, blog on an issue, participate in a rally, boycott a product, or just speak with our families or partners about an issue important to you.
All of us can do something.
All of us should do something.
All of us can make that decision to care enough to get involved.