Here at the Democratic National Convention, a powerful video was shown on the stadium-sized broadcast screens. It showed the story of one woman, Edith Childs of South Carolina, the woman behind the simple phrase that became a rally cry in 2008, and continues to ring loudly in the great hall here in Charlotte.
“Fired up…Ready to go,” is the simple but powerful mantra that Edith started in a small school gymnasium in South Carolina. The scene was one in which only 20 people had shown up on a rainy, dreary night to hear Obama speak. As Obama described it in a speech, he was angry and wet, and the people that were there looked sleepy and as though they did not want to be there either. Suddenly, over his shoulder, he heard a voice that came from a small woman. “Fired up…ready to go,” she chanted. And she would continued to do so for five minutes until everyone was fired up, Obama included.
The story is not just about a catchy slogan, but it’s also about the power of a single voice. A voice that decided to stand up and do something. To push those around them to stand up, and be engaged. Edith’s simple phrase was reproduced on shirts and buttons around the nation. It began many meetings and got people excited for canvassing, phonebanking, and engaging fellow citizens of this great country. It became a rallying cry for the Obama campaign. As Obama said, one voice can change a gym, which can change a city, which can change a state, that can change a nation, which can change the world.
Remember the power of your voice, and the responsibility you have to stand for your beliefs. One voice may seem small in isolation, but it can be used to move arenas, communities, and countries like never before.
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