A Mid-Year Reflection on My Unusual #OneWord2018: Power

I have not forgotten my one word goal for 2018. But I’ve noticed that I don’t talk about it with other people the way I’ve talked about other one word goals I’ve made. Because even though it has proven a fascinating and wonderfully challenging goal, the statement I shared at the beginning of the year is still true:

The word power itself is sort of this dirty word. We don’t like to talk about it, we don’t like to name it–it seems unseemly. And yet, if you don’t understand how power works–what it is, how it flows, who has access to it, who does not–you are essentially being acted upon.”

In this brief mid-year reflection, I realize that I need to talk about this goal, too. Not only because my growth thus far is in no way less valuable than other goals, but because I believe it’s important to have more productive conversations about power. Conversations that are entwined with agency and citizenship.

Here are some of the places this goal has taken me so far this year:

  • Joining our local bicycle committee
  • Creating a 10-page local bike parking guide including education, a discount I’ve secured with a bike rack company, and recommendations/specs
  • Leading an active transportation tour with elected officials
  • Reading our city’s General Plan, & otherwise learning more about the direction our city is headed (or hoping to head)
  • Submitting digital feedback on local policy issues for the first time
  • Attending city meetings for the first time
  • Speaking before the City Council and Planning Commission
  • Joining the PTA board for our local school
  • Starting weekly bike ride for moms
  • Creating and sharing graphics across city social media pages (examples below)

Some of these have had more community impact than others, but that’s not the important part of my goal. What’s important is that all of them have made a profound impact on me and on my family. I am learning so much about a community I love dearly, and have started to see how I can better be of service. My kids are learning more about how our city works and how we can get to know our neighbors.

I hope that as I continue to learn and grow this year, I will continue to gain lessons that I can also carry with me into the classroom to help my students to better understand their own power within our community (agency), and to take meaningful, relevant action (citizenship).

We have more power than we think!

featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto

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