This week, America witnessed a monumental moment that will forever be marked in time.
Jerry Emmett was 8 years old when women in Arizona were given the right to vote. At the age of 102, she stood on the convention floor and nominated the first female candidate from a major party for President of United States. In 1984, our first female vice presidential candidate represented a major American political party. The Nineteenth Amendment of United States Constitution prohibits any United States citizen from being denied the right to vote on the basis of gender. The key vote came on June 4, 1919 when the Senate approved the amendment 56 to 25 after four hours of debate. Susan B. Anthony started fighting for equal rights for slaves and women in 1837 when she was 17 years old. When she first began campaigning for women’s rights, she was accused of trying to destroy the institution of marriage. For her 80th birthday, she was invited to the White House to celebrate her accomplishments, in 1900. For eighty years she persevered. She died in 1906, 13 years before that pivotal vote on the floor of the senate.
When I was a child in the 70s, I told people I wanted to be the next president. They all smiled and patted me on the head. They gave lip service to the idea that I could be anything I wanted to be. At the time, I was too naive to know that it wasn’t true. (Thankfully, now I’m too smart to want the job, but that’s not the point.) Regardless of what candidate you stand behind or the fact that you don’t stand behind any of them, we are in the middle of a historical moment which Susan B. Anthony could not even fathom and Jerry Emmett had trouble taking in.
If Jerry Emmett and Susan B. Anthony could sit down today and have a conversation, I imagine they would agree on a few things:
When you see an injustice, the very fact that you have recognized it tags you as the one to champion the cause. Never pass up an opportunity to fight for what’s right.
When those around you can’t see what you see, keep on educating, keep on working for a solution, keep on moving the needle. Never give up.
Whatever you are doing today needs to be paving the road for a better tomorrow. Never settle.
Endurance is indeed the price tag of achievement. What cause are you designed to champion? Where do you need to keep working for a solution?