Our politicians got a lot of exercise on Tuesday night at the State of the Union address. It was amazing to watch the aerobics in action with people wearing their stiff ties and trying to look partially interested in what President Obama was sharing with the country.
Rather than looking at components of President Obama’s speech (which every other blog post will do), I think there is a deeper value in the watching of the people who were in attendance at the speech and watching their little exercise routine.
These politicians, who we elected, made an effort to show a unified government by sitting with a “date” of the other party. Rather than keeping the status quo, these politicians decided that it is better to have a room full of people where rather than just one side standing up and sitting down that a mix of people sitting and standing would make for better television. In the past, you will see one side of the room standing and applauding everything and the other side will have everyone sitting.
As I watched the entire hour and twelve minute speech, it was interesting to watch as these politicians squirmed in their seats. As democrats tried to decide when to stand and applaud and republicans sat giving a short clap. They were robots who stood up when the democrat string was pulled and clapped in pain when the republican string was pulled.
Why can’t these politicians think for themselves? Do you really think that they are going to lose a vote in the next election because they might have agreed with something the President said?
This little exercise routine shows the greater cause for concern in the entire nonprofit sector. We are willing to stand up when our organizations need something but when another organization or cause gets pushed to the side, we sit down quietly. We are willing to stand up to get a President elected but then when the media attacks him for a certain decision (which is most likely out of his hands), we sit down quietly again.
We live in a world of puppet strings where we stand up when others around us stand up and sit quietly when others around us sit down but we should be standing up and speaking loudly about the injustices and problems which exist in our neighborhoods and communities. We shouldn’t be living in fear that someone isn’t standing up or that others will give us a nasty stare for standing up when they are sitting down.
As nonprofit professionals, it is our duty to speak up for our causes and to stand up when these causes are getting recognition and not getting recognition. The politicians on Tuesday night tried changing the status quo with the seat changes but in actuality it just highlighted the puppet strings more.
Stand up. Stand up for your causes at all times not just the good or bad times.